The Thunder took down the Miami Heat, 103-87, in Oklahoma City last night.
With two of the top teams in the league matched up against one another, the victory was a big one for Oklahoma City. The game was intense. The tweets were fantastic. The evolution of Kevin Durant's all-around game was really fun to watch.
Durant led the way for the Thunder, flirting with a triple-double and scoring a game-high 28 points to go along with nine rebounds and eight assists. Serge Ibaka posted 19 points and 10 rebounds, and James Harden added 19 points of his own, but it was Kendrick Perkins who had the OKC play of the game.
While Perkins was the man getting abused by Blake Griffin in the posterization that was viewed all over the world, when the opportunity came to be on the other side of the highlight reel last night, he jumped all over it.
He also made sure to antagonize Dwyane Wade, catching him in the face with his shoe as he slowly let himself down from the net after delivering the dunk.
If there is a play to have an asterisk beside it when we look back at this game, this is the one.
The dunk ended an 8-0 Miami run, but it was more than that. It was a statement play. A bold one. In his postgame interview, Perkins would say that he wasn't trying to catch Wade in the face with his shoe, but the video speaks louder than any words.
Intentional or not, it sent a message to the Heat, and the side-eye Wade shot Perkins as the two walked up the court shows the message was received.
The Thunder have always been known as one of the nicest teams in the league. Perkins brings just the right amount of edge to their group of nice guys. When the Thunder traded for him last season, his impact was felt immediately, but last night is the perfect illustration of why every team needs that guy.
Perkins took one single play and turned it into a statement. The Thunder don't care about who expects the Heat to do what. They're only concerned with their own performance. And victories.