Kendrick Perkins missed the Thunder's 111-103 loss to the Clippers a week ago. He made a big difference this time.
In Los Angeles, the Clippers made 27 of 34 foul shots and shot 45.3 percent from the field. Thursday night in Oklahoma City, the Clippers got just 15 foul shots, their pick'n roll game was ineffective and they shot just 41.3 percent from the field.
“Perk takes a lot of bullying for us,” Thunder guard Reggie Jackson said. “He makes it easy. He brought that fire for us. Got us a little amped up. Especially with his pregame speech, talking about us being dogs, going out there, being aggressive.”
While most labeled this the Thunder's best victory of the season, Jackson was not buying it.
“Definitely not,” he said. “We gotta 'em on a back-to-back.”
The Clippers beat Minnesota 102-98 Wednesday night.
“Their legs might be tired,” Jackson said. “They might have seemed a little gassed. We took advantage of it. Good to get another notch in our belt. It was a win. But if you meet 'em in the playoffs, everyone gets the same rest.”
STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Thunder bench had a combined plus/minus of plus-45 against the Clippers. Jeremy Lamb, Steven Adams and Jackson combined for 26 points.
From here, the Thunder get a two-day rest before what seems to be an appealing matchup on Sunday with the 1-12 Utah Jazz.
But after that, in the final three games of this lengthy six-game homestand, OKC is in for a challenge.
The defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs are in town next Wednesday, before the Warriors (Nov. 29) and Timberwolves (Dec. 1) visit The Peake. Those three teams have a combined record of 25-11.
Doc Rivers on Steven Adams: “He's gonna be good. I liked him in our workout. I was still the coach of Boston when he worked out for us, and I really liked him. He's going to be a good player, has great hands, can shoot the ball very well. What is he 20? He's gonna be a good player. That was a helluva draft pick.”