Oklahoma City’s already altered lineup took an even different look eight minutes into Sunday’s Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
In the span of 20 seconds early in the Thunder’s eventual 106-97 win, center Kendrick Perkins was called for illegal screen fouls on back-to-back possessions.
The first, Perkins grabbed Tim Duncan as Russell Westbrook laid the ball in.
A few moments later, Perkins set a pick for Kevin Durant on Manu Ginobili and was called for his third foul overall.
The foul sent Perkins to the bench for the remainder of the half and brought on Steven Adams.
Adams, no stranger to quick foul trouble himself, stayed composed. He didn’t pick up his first foul until the final four minutes of the half, when he’d already played nearly nine minutes.
Adams didn’t pick up his second foul until midway through the fourth quarter.
With just less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Derek Fisher sank a 3-pointer from the side that put the Thunder up 26-22.
Boris Diaw, defending the shot, raked his fingernails on Fisher’s head, drawing blood.
After Ginobili hit a 3-pointer on the other end, Fisher had to leave the game and go to the locker room where it took six stitches to close the wound.
Fisher returned the game with a little more than five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Fisher’s absence led to extended first-half minutes for Jeremy Lamb.
Lamb played the entire second quarter, although he didn’t play in the second half until the Thunder had the game in the bag.
Lamb scored four points but struggled on Ginobili defensively in the quarter. Ginobili scored 11 of his 23 points in the second.
PARKER COUGHS IT UP
After turning the ball over just five times combined in the first two games of the series, Spurs veteran Tony Parker struggled to keep possessions at times in Game 3.
Parker turned the ball over four times, including twice in less than a minute in the first half as the Thunder reeled off eight consecutive points and took the lead for good.