With 2:05 remaining in Wednesday night's game at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph and Thunder center Kendrick Perkins were ejected after a verbal altercation while lining up across from each other at the free-throw lane.
After the two players were separated, Perkins ran off the court in front of the Thunder bench and into a hallway, where he had another altercation with Randolph outside the postgame interview room next to the Thunder locker room.
The players were separated by Oklahoma City police officers. People in the postgame interview area heard something being slammed against the door.
Security members huddled briefly thereafter to discuss the matter, but no action was taken against either player.
The team locker rooms are roughly 50 feet apart on opposite sides of the hallway.
An agitated Perkins declined to comment afterward.
In the Memphis locker room, Randolph calmly dismissed both incidents.
What was said on the court to get you both ejected?
Randolph: “Aw, I didn't say nothin'.”
What happened in the hallway after that?
Randolph: “It wasn't nothin'. It was a good, tough, hard-fought game. It was competitive, just out there playing, two physical teams that want to win, a lot of emotions flying, so just part of basketball.”
Did you and Perkins settle your differences?
Randolph: “Man, I play basketball. I don't worry about all that. Perk's all right. There's a lot of bluffin' going on the court, that's all, you know. And I don't bluff.”
The Grizzlies (6-1) posted a convincing 107-97 victory over the Thunder (6-3) to push their winning streak to six games while snapping OKC's winning streak at five.
Five technicals were called in the game.
Memphis outscored the Thunder 36-15 in the second quarter and the teams essentially swapped buckets the entire second half. The closest OKC got was 75-69 with 3:01 left in the third quarter.
As expected, the game was hotly contested from the opening tip.
“Oh, it definitely felt like a playoff game — very physical out there, intensity was there, guys was playing hard, so it definitely felt like a playoff game,” Randolph said.
A rivalry between these teams was spawned two seasons ago in an exciting, back-and-forth Western Conference semifinal that the Thunder won 4-3.
“Just two good teams,” said Randolph, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds and has had a double-double in every game this season. “We feel like we can beat them and they feel like they can beat us.
“This was a big win for us tonight. This is one of the best teams in the West. … We're the underdogs. I tell our guys, ‘We're the underdogs.' I've been an underdog my whole life, you know what I mean? That's how I feel. I've got to earn everything I got.”
The Grizzlies had a first-round playoff exit last season, losing to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder, meanwhile, won the Western Conference championship to advance to the NBA Finals, where it lost 4-1 to the Miami Heat.
“We're trying to get where they at,” Randolph said of the Thunder. “We're always going to come out and play hard, come out and fight.”