It didn't take long in Game 3 for Thunder enforcer Kendrick Perkins to send a message to Patrick Beverley about causing Russell Westbrook's season-ending knee injury in Game 2.
On OKC's first trip down court and with Beverley pressuring replacement point guard Reggie Jackson in the back court, Perkins set a hard pick at midcourt and Jackson drove Patrick right into it.
Perkins was called a foul and didn't argue. The entire Houston bench reacted angrily and started taunting Perkins, which drew a technical foul on the bench.
The Rockets jumped out to a 9-3 lead. The Thunder promptly countered with a 20-2 run and held on in the end for a 104-101 victory.
In Game 2, OKC was out-rebounded 57-40 and gave up 18 offensive rebounds to Houston.
After the first quarter of Game 3, the Thunder led 13-2 in rebounds.
For the game, OKC out-rebounded the Rockets 49-41 overall and 13-5 at the offensive end. Kevin Durant led the way with 14 boards, Serge Ibaka had 11 and guard Thabo Sefolosha had nine.
A sellout crowd of 18,163 at Toyota Center booed Thunder veteran guard Derek Fisher heartily, remembering last season when he was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Rockets and refused to play in Houston.