Perkins was particularly close to Garnett and point guard Rajon Rondo. Those two and Pierce are the only remaining players from the title team.
“I think it'll be easier when a lot of the guys that I played with be off the team,” Gran Torino said. “Still pretty hard going against guys I went to war with.
“We had great times over there. Not easy at all, especially going against a coach who pretty much raised me. Who started me who I was as a player. It's always difficult, but know I'm always trying to get the win.”
Perkins played winning basketball Sunday. He led the Thunder with five assists. He had five rebounds. And he made Garnett have a miserable night.
Serge Ibaka helped, too. Ibaka blocked two Garnett shots and played some tough defense himself. Garnett made just one of 10 shots in the second half, when the Celtics as a team shot 25 percent.
Rivers has been after Garnett to shoot more. “I love him having 20 shots, but I'd like him having 20 good shots,” Rivers said. “I thought he had 10 good shots, and then 10 very tough shots.”
Good luck getting 20 good shots against the Thunder. Not with Perkins taking the challenge.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.