Perkins improves his game while on the shelf

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Perkins improves his game while on the shelf

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

Kendrick Perkins grabbed a basketball and hoisted up a long-range shot in between quarters of last week's Celtics-Nuggets game.

Nothing but . . . air.

"You seen that shot?" he laughed. "I couldnt get my suit jacket up."

Perkins continues to stay close to the game while he rehabs from a right knee injury he suffered during the NBA Finals. He supports his team from the bench at the TD Garden and goes through drills of his own at the Celtics practice facility.

Last month Perkins filled CSNNE.com in on four things to know about his rehab. He recently shared new updates on his road to recovery as he eyes a return to the court in February.

STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Perkins was fitted for a new knee brace last week and plans to begin wearing it on Tuesday. He anticipates the latest brace will allow him to do even more on the court.

"I'm just taking it one day at a time," he said. "I think I'm starting to do more basketball things. Last Wednesday I got measured for my knee brace, so it's been cool. It means I can start doing more court work, stuff like that."

A JUMP SHOOTER IN THE MAKING
Perkins' goals go beyond returning healthy. He wants to return a better basketball player, too, and is focusing on specific areas of his game.

"Believe it or not, just more of my jumper, just touch around the 12, 15-foot area," he said. "If I have a shot, take it, stuff like that. And improving my free-throw shooting (60.4 FT career), that's been my thing. So I'm trying to drop a few more pounds. I want to lose about 10 more to get down to 260."

AN UNDERSTANDING EAR
Perkins is just one of several injured players on the Celtics. While he's there to listen if teammates like Delonte West and Jermaine ONeal want to talk, he also respects the sensitivity of their situations.

"Yeah, in a way I do give them advice, but at times it's like, what can you tell a guy?" he said. "You can tell him to stay positive, just pull him along to work out with you, things like that. Other than that, you don't really want to pile too much on him because I know it's a difficult time."

NEW SOURCE OF STRENGTH
As Perkins' physical strength improves, so does his mental endurance. Perkins, who turned 26 last month, has learned a lot about himself in the past six months.

"I think mentally you grow better as a person," he reflected. "It's easy when things are going good for you. You can always stay in the flow of things. But when there's adversity against you, it's how you deal with it. So I think mentally I became stronger.

"Obviously I want to be back out there on the court, but other than that, things are going real well."
Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba.

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.