Kevin Durant led the charge for Oklahoma City with 23 points and 11 rebounds in the Thunder's 91-79 win over Boston.

Russell Westbrook had 15 points and Serge Ibaka had seven points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots despite early foul trouble.

Kendrick Perkins' six-point, five-rebound, five-assist night doesn't exactly jump off the stat sheet as being one of the players who stepped up in a big way for the Thunder. But his former teammates and coach in Boston are quick to remind anyone asking just how important Perkins is to any team, but especially a team like Oklahoma City that has title aspirations.

"You'll look at his numbers and a lot of times you'll say, 'What does he do?' " said C's coach Doc Rivers. "Well I can tell you . . . a lot."

Perkins' defense was among the reasons why Kevin Garnett had a horrific night shooting the ball on Sunday, missing 14 of his 19 shots while finishing with just 10 points.

"Perk didn't do anything new tonight," Garnett said. "It was typical Perk."

Garnett, arguably the biggest influence on Perkins defensively, has always held his former pupil in high regard for several reasons.

First and foremost, Perkins competes -- always -- and it doesn't matter if you're foe, friend or a friend with "BFF" status like Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.

After the game, Perkins' teammates talked about how he stepped up to the challenge of guarding Garnett.