Milestone Monday: Kendrick Perkins

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Milestone Monday: Kendrick Perkins

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON When you think about current Boston Celtics players who can knock down shots, there are a bunch of names that immediately come to mind.

Chances are, Kendrick Perkins isn't one of them.

And yet the 6-foot-10 center is not only tops on the C's in shooting percentage this season, but he also stands as the franchise leader in that category.

"I know I'm not going to get a ton of shots up," Perkins recently told CSNNE.com. "I know that. So I know when I get them, I gotta make them count."

More often than not, he does.

A career 56.4 percent shooter, Perkins is connecting on 58 percent of his shots this season.

Of course, most of Perkins' points come around the basket.

While recovering from a torn MCL and PCL injury suffered in Game Six of the NBA Finals last June, Perkins said he went about trying to improve his game in all phases -- including shooting.

"That's never going to be a big part of my game, scoring," Perkins said. "But I've been working on this little 15-footer; just trying to get better, that's all."

Even though he's the franchise leader in field-goal percentage, arguably Perkins' greatest contributions to the Celtics' success come at the defensive end of the floor.

"Him and KG, those guys are our defensive anchors," Boston's Glen Davis told CSNNE.com.

But there are times when the Celtics call upon Perkins to be more of an impact player on offense.

Boston certainly needed a big game offensively from Perkins in Sunday's 85-82 win over the Miami Heat.

With a roster that was as depleted as we've seen this season against the Heat, Perkins tallied a season-high 15 points in the C's victory.

"We told Perk that he had to be a great rover and finisher against the Heat," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "Because they do a great job of showing with their bigs. I told him, 'just trust the pass. it will be there.'"

Trust has been something Perkins' teammates have placed in him, both as a defender and at times, as a scorer, too.

"He has great hands. He can finish around the basket," said Kevin Garnett. "Defensively, he doesn't need a lot of help. He's a talker. We have that chemistry and rapport with him. To have him back to be a force . . . it's good to have Perk back."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Warriors force Game 7 with 108-101 win over Thunder

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Warriors force Game 7 with 108-101 win over Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Klay Thompson made a playoff-record 11 3-pointers and scored 41 points, and the defending champion Golden State Warriors forced a seventh game in the Western Conference finals with a 108-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.

Stephen Curry bounced back from a slow start to finish with 29 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

The Warriors, who set the league's regular-season record with 73 wins, will host Game 7 on Monday. The winner will play Cleveland in the NBA Finals.

Oklahoma City dominated Games 3 and 4 at home, but the Warriors made 21 of 44 3-pointers on Saturday, while Oklahoma City was 3 of 23.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook added 28 for the Thunder. But Durant made just 10 of 31 shots and Westbrook was 10 of 27.

Trying to become the 10th team to overcome a 3-1 deficit, the Warriors trailed much of the game and trailed by eight going to the fourth quarter.

Thompson kept them in it with four 3-pointers in just over seven minutes to start the period. Curry then hit two 3s, the second of which tied the game at 99 with 2:47 to play.

Thompson's 3 with 1:35 to play put the Warriors up 104-101.

The Thunder, who blew a number of fourth-quarter leads during the regular season, fell apart in the final minutes after Golden State had finally gone ahead for good.

Westbrook lost control of the ball, and after Thompson missed a 3, Westbrook turned the ball over again. Curry's layup with 14.3 seconds to play put the Warriors up by five, the Thunder turned it over again, and the Warriors were in the clear.

The Thunder led 23-20 after one quarter, then seized momentum early in the second. Steven Adams' powerful one-handed dunk on Draymond Green drew a roar from the crowd and gave Oklahoma City a 37-28 lead. Green, who had hit Adams in the groin area twice during the series, was a constant target for the vocal Thunder fans.

Thompson opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Warriors a 54-53 edge, but the Thunder closed the quarter strong and led 83-75 heading into the fourth.

Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones shot and killed

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Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones shot and killed

By Kurt Helin, NBC Pro Basketball Talk

This is a sad and stunning development.

Bryce Dejean-Jones, the rookie guard of the New Orleans Pelicans, has died, the Dallas, Texas, County Coroner has confirmed to NBC Sports. Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune broke the news.

Dejean-Jones was just 23.

The coroner’s office would not give a cause of death, but Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports had the tragic detail.