Noted hard-screen enthusiast Kendrick Perkins opened the Oklahoma City Thunder's Game 6 visit to Toyota Center on Friday by getting all up in the grill of Houston Rockets wing Francisco Garcia, who'd spent most of Games 3 through 5 hustling to make life difficult on Kevin Durant:
Walking away and doing pushups is, of course, the most reasonable response in this situation. Perkins and Garcia both received technical fouls, Perkins was slapped with an offensive foul, the Thunder turned it over and Houston continued its 15-0 first-quarter run. Veteran leadership!
The tide later turned, though, as OKC fought back from a 10-point third-quarter deficit to rip off a pair of huge runs (16-2 late in the third, 19-5 for about half of the fourth) and finally stamp down the eighth-seeded Rockets, 103-94. The victory gave them a 4-2 series win and passage to a matchup with the also-victorious Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals.
When the team returned home early Saturday, Thunder fans turned out to greet them at Will Rogers World Airport, a neat "welcome back" tradition that's developed among OKC faithful over the years. Upon de-planing, Perkins — still fresh as a daisy after playing less than 4 1/2 minutes in the clincher, as coach Scott Brooks went smaller earlier and more often (nice to see you again, Nick Collison!) — treated the crowd to some jetway-concrete calisthenics:
We're glad Perk is staying on his pushup game, because the second-round matchup with the Grizzlies — which tips off Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT in Oklahoma City — means tangling with Grizzlies low-post mauler Zach Randolph. And we know Z-Bo's willing to drop and give you 20:
Considering what tends to happen when these two get together, a pushup contest might the best way to determine interior dominance. Not as much fun for us, sure, but definitely safer.
Video via Beyond the Buzzer.