Oklahoma City Thunder: Kendrick Perkins helps Thunder to win over Jazz
Kendrick Perkins played perhaps his best game of the year in the Thunder's 106-94 win over Utah on Friday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. It certainly was his most complete game thus far.
This, apparently, is what it looks like when Kendrick Perkins' impact does show up in the stat sheet.
There were points and rebounds and blocked shots and assists.
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There was defense, dependable and dominating defense, used to shut down his opponent and shut off the opposing team's most effective offensive weapon.
Perkins played perhaps his best game of the year in the Thunder's 106-94 win over Utah on Friday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. It certainly was his most complete game thus far.
He finished with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots. He added a steal while making six of nine shots in 32 minutes.
“Perk was really good,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He had a great overall game.”
This time, Brooks didn't have to insist that he did things that didn't show up in the box score.
The Thunder moved to 13-4, winning for the seventh time in eight games, largely because of Perkins' contributions. He held Utah leading scorer Al Jefferson in check much of the night and limited him to 16 points on 7-for-18 shooting.
“I didn't want Al Jefferson to go for 40,” Perkins said. “He's capable of doing that.”
Jefferson entered the night averaging 16.6 points and 10.6 rebounds. He ultimately netted his averages in both categories, finishing with 11 rebounds, but those figures belie how effective the Thunder was against one of the best low-post scorers in basketball.
Perkins and Nick Collison tag-teamed on Jefferson in the first half and held him to two points on 1-for-6 shooting in 17 minutes. Of his six second-half field goals, Jefferson netted only one inside of 10 feet as he was forced to settle for jump shots ranging between 13 and 19 feet. And five of his six second-half makes were assisted, illustrating how Perkins' defense disarmed Jefferson of his back-to-the-basket game.
“Perk did a good job of pushing me out of the paint,” admitted Jefferson, who teamed with Perkins for three years in Boston. “And then when I did get the ball, there was a guy in my lap. They just had a good defensive plan.”