This, apparently, is what it looks like when Kendrick Perkins' impact does show up in the stat sheet.
There were points and rebounds and blocked shots and assists.
There was defense, dependable and dominating defense, used to shut down his opponent and shut off the opposing team's most effective offensive weapon.
Perkins played perhaps his best game of the year in the Thunder's 106-94 win over Utah on Friday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. It certainly was his most complete game thus far.
He finished with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. He added a steal while making six of nine shots in 32 minutes.
“Perk was really good,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He had a great overall game.”
This time, Brooks didn't have to insist that he did things that didn't show up in the box score.
The Thunder moved to 13-4, winning for the seventh time in eight games, largely because of Perkins' contributions. He held Utah leading scorer Al Jefferson in check much of the night and limited him to 16 points on 7-for-18 shooting.
“I didn't want Al Jefferson to go for 40,” Perkins said. “He's capable of doing that.”
Jefferson entered the night averaging 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds. He ultimately netted his averages in both categories, finishing with 11 rebounds, but those figures belie how effective the Thunder was against one of the best low-post scorers in basketball.
Perkins and Nick Collison tag-teamed on Jefferson in the first half and held him to two points on 1-for-6 shooting in 17 minutes. Of his six second-half field goals, Jefferson netted only one inside of 10 feet as he was forced to settle for jump shots ranging between 13 and 19 feet. And five of his six second-half makes were assisted, illustrating how Perkins' defense disarmed Jefferson of his back-to-the-basket game.
“Perk did a good job of pushing me out of the paint,” admitted Jefferson, who teamed with Perkins for three years in Boston. “And then when I did get the ball, there was a guy in my lap. They just had a good defensive plan.”
Utah came into the game ranked third in paint points at 43.3 per game. But with Jefferson bottled up, Utah was held to 38 points in the paint and had just 24 inside through three quarters.
“He's going to score because he's a scorer,” Perkins said of Jefferson. “I just wanted to make sure he did not get to his jump hook and he stayed out the paint. Contest his jumpers outside the paint and I could live with that.'
Russell Westbrook scored 23 points with 13 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals, and Kevin Durant added 25 points. Kevin Martin scored 19 off the bench. Serge Ibaka added 12 points, seven rebounds and seven blocked shots.
Enes Kanter led the Jazz with 18 points off the bench, and Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and Gordon Hayward added 13 points apiece.
Utah was without starting forward Marvin Williams (concussion) and had to play the final 3 1/2 quarters without reserve Derrick Favors, who left the game with a foot injury. Still, the Jazz frontcourt controlled the glass, securing an opponent season-high 21 offensive rebounds. Utah was unable to convert most of those chances into scores, though, and finished tied with the Thunder with 16 second-chance points.
Turnovers, coupled with Utah's inability to convert putbacks, helped the Thunder cruise. The Jazz had 19 turnovers which led to 25 Thunder points. Twenty of those points came off 11 first-half turnovers, which allowed the Thunder to take a 12-point halftime lead.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 18 points, on two occasions late in the third quarter. But the Jazz got within five midway through the final period. The Thunder closed the game on an 18-11 run, forcing Utah into four turnovers in the final 7 1/2 minutes.