OKC Thunder: Kendrick Perkins' shot sinks Portland

An unexpected baseline jumper from the Thunder center helped OKC stop the Trail Blazers.
by Anthony Slater Published: January 21, 2014

Kevin Durant heard it.

Everybody in the building heard it.

And most of them were participating.

The Thunder-Trail Blazers game remained in the balance on Tuesday night. OKC had the ball, up two, with 1:36 left and a chance for the Thunder to seal a crucial midseason win.

So Reggie Jackson drove the lane, drew the defense and kicked to — who else? — Kendrick Perkins for a crucial 15-foot baseline jumper.

Wait, what?

“A lot of people (in the stands) I heard screaming ‘No!' when he shot it,” Durant remembered.

Uneasiness swept the building, a group of 18,203 trying to will the ball out of Perkins' hands and into the mitts of the world's greatest scorer during one of his most legendary hot streaks.

Perkins wasn't having it.

“I was going to shoot it regardless,” Perkins said. “I (told Jackson at the timeout), ‘If you pass it to me, it's going up.' ”

And it did.

And, to the delight of the adoring doubters, it went in, the first of a pair of Thunder daggers that sealed OKC's 105-97 win over the Blazers — this one capped with a patented Perk pose, hand in the air and scowl to the crowd.

“How'd you like that play I drew up for Perk?” Scott Brooks jokingly asked postgame.

“It's a nice little baseline shot for him,” Jackson said, justifying his decision to pass it. “As long as he doesn't second-think it, he's pretty good from there.”

Despite a small sample size, the numbers actually back Jackson up. Perkins is 7-of-9 on midrange baseline jumpers this season.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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