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OKC Thunder notebook: Kendrick Perkins is a game-time decision

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, Published: May 15, 2012

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, who aggravated a right hip muscle strain early in the third quarter of Game 1 on Monday night, once again will be a game-time decision as to whether he will start against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Perkins initially was injured in Game 4 in a series-clinching victory at Dallas on May 5.

Perkins rested for eight days awaiting this second-round series and reinjured the hip at the 10:18 mark of the third quarter in Monday's 119-90 romp over the Lakers at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Perkins did not participate in Tuesday's practice because of soreness. Perkins received treatment in the afternoon and will again on Wednesday. He will be re-evaluated before the game. A final decision must come at least one hour before tipoff.

Roughly 75 minutes after Game 1, around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday inside the Thunder locker room, Perkins vowed he would play in Game 2 and estimated at that time he was approximately 75-percent healthy.

If Perkins is unable to play, Brooks said veteran center Nazr Mohammed would start.


The Thunder finished with just four turnovers in Game 1, which set a franchise record for fewest in a playoff game dating back to the Seattle SuperSonics' arrival in 1967.

Truth be told, OKC shouldn't have many turnovers in the series because the Lakers are a pack-it-in team in their defensive approach. They don't try to jump into passing lanes or double-team opponents. Steals come when opponents try to force the ball inside or are careless while attacking. LA finished last in the league in opponent turnovers at just 11.3 per game during the regular season.

The Lakers' style of defense should make it easier for OKC to work the ball around the perimeter and not self-destruct, which was a problem at times this season.

Asked how his team might try to force more turnovers against the Thunder, legendary Lakers guard Kobe Bryant shrugged and said: “Foul them a couple more times (and hope) the refs won't call it.”

Asked about taking charges, Bryant quickly deferred.

“We have a couple guys who will take charges,” Bryant said, “but for the most part, the one guy who took charges (Derek Fisher) is now playing in Oklahoma. I don't take charges. Metta (World Peace) don't take charges. Steve (Blake) will take a charge every now and then, but most everybody else just stands out and plays (defense).”

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