Thunder center Kendrick Perkins suffered a hip/groin injury of Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs and never fully recovered.
It seems like an offseason procedure will be done, although there was no official word after Thursday night's 121-106 season-ending loss to Miami at American Airlines Arena.
Despite suffering a bruised left (shooting) hand in Game 4 that resulted in his hand being taped for Wednesday's practice, Thunder sixth man James Harden did not have the hand taped in Game 5. He shot 5 for 11 from the field, 3 for 8 from 3-point range and finished with 19 points, five assists, four rebounds, two steals and three turnovers.
ANOTHER SLOW START
The Thunder trailed 31-26 in the first quarter on Thursday, marking the fourth time in five games OKC lost the opening period.
Based on statistics, however, the Thunder was fortunate to trail only by five.
OKC shot just 37.5 percent (9 for 24) from the field compared with 57.9 percent (11 for 19) for the Heat. Miami also outscored the Thunder 12-0 from 3-point range, shooting 4 for 8 compared with 0 for 2 for OKC, which entered the game shooting 27.2 percent (21 for 77) from 3-point range.
Reserve forward Mike Miller, battling an array of nagging injuries, made his first three 3-point attempts and finished 7 for 8 for 23 points.
What kept the Thunder close was going 8 for 9 from the free-throw line. Prior to Game 5, the most free throws OKC had attempted in a first quarter in the Finals were five in Game 2.
The Heat had doubled its lead by halftime at 59-49, but again, the Thunder was fortunate to be that close.
Miami shot 55.0 percent (22 for 40) from the field while OKC shot 36.6 percent (15 for 41). Free throws again saved the Thunder, which was 17 for 18 at the line at halftime and finished 23 for 26.
OKC was 15 for 16 from the line in Game 4, which means it hit 38 of its final 42 free throws.
The Thunder found its range from 3-point territory in Game 5 at 39.3 percent (11 for 28), which fell well short of Miami's 53.8-percent accuracy (14 for 26).
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