Ref lends ear to Perkins, Randolph

Updated: April 25, 2014, 4:52 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins and Grizzlies big-man counterpart Zach Randolph briefly met Thursday with a referee before Game 3 of their first-round playoff series to discuss how the official should call the game in regards to how the duo would defend each other.

Monty McCutchen called over Randolph -- fined earlier this season for criticizing the officiating -- after Perkins began lobbying him on how strict the officials would be on physical play.

[+] EnlargeZach Randolph and Kendrick Perkins
AP Photo/Alonzo AdamsMemphis' Zach Randolph joined Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins before Thursday's game to discuss with referee Monty McCutchen how strictly physical play would be officiated.

"Kendrick has a question, and he wants fairness, and he wants you to be here," McCutchen says in a video sequence shown on the game's TNT broadcast.

Perkins then explains himself, suggesting what he was demonstrating was normal play that shouldn't be called a foul.

"Me and him been banging a lot, sometimes we ain't in play and sometimes we're locking up each other," Perkins says to McCutchen before wrapping his left hand around Randolph's side and pulling him in closer as Randolph looks back in agreement.

McCutchen then says he understands the concern on "the lock" but that "if you throw someone down, I gotta make sure I maintain guidelines."

But McCutchen adds he could "live with" simple pushing back and forth.

"We gotta fit the guidelines, 'cause that's when I'm gone," McCutchen says.

Randolph was fined $25,000 in December for criticizing referees after he called the officiating in a close loss at Houston "horrible."

Their physical play and its aftermath put both on the NBA's radar early last season.

Perkins and Randolph were reportedly in a confrontation in a hallway near the locker rooms after both were ejected in the fourth quarter of a 107-97 Memphis victory in 2012, a situation the league reviewed. The Memphis Commercial Appeal quoted a witness who called it "playground stupid."

The Grizzlies won Thursday night's Game 3 98-95 to take a 2-1 series lead. Randolph had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win, while Perkins contributed seven points and nine boards.

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