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Mavericks Vs. Thunder, 2012 NBA Playoffs: Kendrick Perkins Out Of Game 4

Oklahoma City Thunder starting C Kendrick Perkins will not return to Game 4 of their first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks, as Perkins limped off to the locker room early in the first quarter with a hip injury:

Perkins hasn't been much of a factor in the series, as his ability to defend the low post is not needed against a Mavericks team who get very little offensively from the center position.

With his absence, Oklahoma City will likely go small with Serge Ibaka at the center position and Kevin Durant at the power power forward in the fourth quarter. Nick Collison should also see some additional floor time at both interior positions.

Without Perkins on the floor, Rick Carlisle may not use Brendan Haywood as much, which would be a big boost for Dallas.

Before he left, he did leave a lovely reminder on Haywood's face as to why he's one of the most disliked players in the NBA:

Haywood2_medium

via assets.sbnation.com

For more on the game, stay tuned to the SB Nation Dallas storystream as well as Mavs Moneyball.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.