May 3, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5) fouls Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the first half of game three in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Kendrick Perkins with right hip strain, won't return to Game 4

Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins suffered a right hip strain in the first quarter of Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks and will not return to the game.

The Thunder lead Dallas 26-24 after one quarter. Perkins had two assists and two rebounds in the quarter and has been the player assigned to cover Dirk Nowitzki the most this series.

Perkins has done a nice job on Dirk but Nick Collison traditionally does the best job on Dirk and certainly will play more minutes with Perkins out.

The Thunder have gone small a lot in this series playing Kevin Durant at the four and inserting Derek Fisher into the lineup. Expect to see that again tonight.

Oklahoma City is looking to sweep Dallas tonight and the Mavericks have come out tonight a lot better than they did in Game 3. The defending champs obviously won’t go down without a fight.

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Tags: Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki First Round Game 4 Injury Kendrick Perkins Kevin Durant Nick Collison Oklahoma City Thunder Right Hip Strain

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