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.
“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.
But regardless, it's not the look the Thunder wants in that crucial of a situation. And in the future, it's likely one you'll never see again, for fear of an arena-wide heart attack.
But for one night, it served as the icing to Durant's masterpiece. A feel-good shot for a much-maligned center who does the brunt of the team's defensive dirty work and shoulders an unfair amount of the offensive blame.
On Tuesday, he had one of his best performances of the year, forcing a majority of LaMarcus Aldridge's 10 misses in an inefficient 6-of-16 second half for the Portland superstar.
But this night will be remembered for his offense. For that brief and entertaining moment when Perk turned into Dirk, drilling a crucial and confident Nowitzki-esque 15-footer as his hometown fans looked on in horror.
“It's a great feeling,” Jackson said. “I can't think of too many people — anybody — that is more deserving. Especially for all the things he does and all the criticism he gets.”
“To see him get rewarded with that was pretty refreshing,” Durant said. “I'm riding with Perk until the wheels fall off.”