Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins has long been known for being all-business on the court, and that includes coming across former teammates.
Perkins and Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen were together with the Boston Celtics for six seasons (2004-10).
When Allen, a former Oklahoma State standout, tried to extend pleasantries before Sunday's tipoff inside Oklahoma City Arena, Perkins refused.
"Umm, I ain't getting into any of that. It ain't even about that," Allen said when asked of the exchange. "It's bigger than that. It's about the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies."
The 114-101 victory for Memphis in Game 1 was the first time the Grizzlies have faced the Thunder with the 6-foot-10, 280-pound Perkins. Allen said OKC definitely has a different look with Perkins.
"He kind of scared me a few times going to the hole," Allen said. "I saw the big man coming."
Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant had 33 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and was guarded a majority of the time by either Allen or Shane Battier.
Asked how he tries to defend Durant, Allen said, "Just respecting him as much as you can on the court. You don't want to help as much when Westbrook is driving. You definitely don't want to get screened when you've got Perk coming to screen. Just respecting him (Durant) from all angles."
HOT, THEN COLD
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook made five of his first six shots Sunday, then made four of his final 17 attempts to finish 9 for 23.
So far in the postseason, Westbrook is shooting 39.5 percent from the field (49 for 124), 33.3 percent from 3-point range (8 for 24) and is averaging 4.5 turnovers (27).
Given its dominance Sunday, Memphis obviously was feeling no fatigue from Friday night.
Though OKC hadn't played since Wednesday's clincher against Denver, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said his team did not view Sunday as a unique opportunity to take advantage of the Grizzlies' busy schedule.
"I think it's the same urgency on our end," Brooks said. "This is an important game. You can't have an intensity (that is) higher in one game over another."
Brooks and Memphis coach Lionel Hollins agreed before Game 1 the Grizzlies having to play just 37 hours after their series-clinching victory against San Antonio on Friday night should not be considered an overwhelming task.
"These guys (NBA players) are used to playing back-to-backs, and four (games) in five nights," Brooks said 90 minutes before tipoff. "They had a day off to enjoy and also prepare, but that's what the NBA is all about. You have to sometime prepare on the fly. I don't see that as an issue on their end. They're in the second round and we're both excited to play this game."
Hollins shrugged off the schedule.
"Don't know what there is to be concerned about," Hollins said 75 minutes before tipoff. "We've got to play, they've got to play. We're going to go out and compete. It's going to be a long series. We just want to come out, get our feet wet and get a feel for who they are, and they'll probably want to do the same for us."
KNOWING THE SCHEDULE
Win or lose last Friday against the Spurs, Memphis knew it was going to play a road game Sunday – whether it was at San Antonio for Game 7 or in Oklahoma City for Game 1.
The Thunder, meanwhile, didn't know for certain until Friday night's result that it was going to play Sunday.
"You have to take it as it comes," Grizzlies center Marc Gasol said. "No one is going to feel sorry for you. Nobody was going to take it easy. No one was going to give you anything. We knew that coming in. We wanted to be aggressive from the jump ball."
Gasol, singling out the play of point guard Mike Conley as a key to Sunday's victory: "Mike did a great job of getting to the paint, drawing those bigs (toward him), finding me rolling or (making) a little pocket pass for the shot. We did a good job of moving the ball and being unselfish."