I mean, Kendrick Perkins' right foot definitely hit the face of Dwyane Wade after this fourth-quarter dunk during the Oklahoma City Thunder's convincing 103-87 primetime win over the visiting Miami Heat. On that score, we can certainly all agree. So if your definition of a kick is "when one person's foot makes contact with another person's body, especially in an adversarial situation/environment," then sure, this could be characterized as a kick. Judging by his reaction to the play, it seems fair to say that Wade views it that way; as someone whose face thankfully (thus far) has remained untouched by Kendrick Perkins' feet, it probably wouldn't be fair for me to say that Dwyane's feelings are invalid.
Mostly, though, I think Perkins was trying to look cool while dunking, which is not always easy for huge, plodding dudes, and he just didn't really stick the landing. That's a bummer for Wade, but it's not like Perk had malicious intent and was going out of his way to be Mr. Cool Anderson Silva out there. So chill out, Dwyane.
The good news is that Wade totally got Perkins back by walking a step or two away from Perkins all the way down the court. Walking just close enough to someone to give him the creeps is the best revenge. Plus, it's way safer than taking a page out of Bruce Bowen's book and going full-Liu-Kang on your opponent, which is something that doesn't necessarily get mentioned at jersey retirement ceremonies.
Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald called Wade's reaction to Perkins' big boot "pretty much the only show of emotion by the Heat all night." The visitors stumbled their way to 21 turnovers and a 7-of-22 mark from 3-point land while allowing Oklahoma City to shoot 52.7 percent from the floor, outpoint them in the paint (46-36) and on the fast break (18-11), and win the battle on the boards (36-31).
"During a fourth-quarter timeout, Heat co-captain Udonis Haslem implored his teammates to match the Thunder's intensity," Goodman wrote. "They never did."
Perhaps more concerning for the Heat, who dropped to 3.5 games behind the 40-10 Chicago Bulls for the Eastern Conference's top spot, was Wade's response to questions about not attempting a field goal in the fourth quarter after sitting out the final frame's first three minutes. From Jeff Latzke of The Associated Press:
"I'd rather not comment on that," [Wade] said. When asked whether he wanted the ball in his hands, he said, "I don't want to talk about the offense."
Wade finished with 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks, but did cough the ball up six times. LeBron James continued his struggles since suffering a head injury against the Phoenix Suns last week, needing 18 shots to score 17 points, grabbing just three rebounds and posting four turnovers to go with his seven assists.
Kevin Durant had a brilliant game for OKC, leading all scorers with 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting, grabbing nine boards and dishing eight dimes in 42 minutes for the Western Conference-leading Thunder.
Miami will look to get back on track Monday night in the tail end of a road back-to-back against the Indiana Pacers, who sound desperate to avoid a season sweep at the hands of the Heat, before heading home for their second matchup of the season with the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. The Heat took the first rematch between last year's finalists on the season's opening night.
Is the clip above not rocking for you? Please feel free to peruse the kick-and-stare elsewhere, thanks to CakesBerry.
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