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Reggie Jackson propels Thunder to overtime win, ties series 2-2

Apr 27, 2014, 2:23 AM EDT

Reggie Jackson was forced to grow up this season — when Russell Westbrook was out recovering from another knee surgery he started and shared the team’s playmaking responsibilities with Kevin Durant.

Saturday night Jackson saved the Thunder’s season.

Jackson had 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting and had five straight points late in the fourth quarter to tie the game and give the Thunder a chance. For the third straight game these teams went to overtime, but behind Jackson the Thunder won 92-89.

The series is now tied 2-2 headed back to Oklahoma City. Lose this game and it was hard to see how the Thunder would have won the series.

That the Thunder won a game — or if you’re a Grizzlies’ fan, that your team failed to win a game — on a night Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were way off their games was huge. Durant finished with 15 points on 5-of-21 shooting. His jumper just was not falling — he was 1-of-8 from the midrange and 1-of-7 from three. By the end of the game Durant looked exhausted, not moving on offensive trips and missing shots when he got a good look. Westbrook was 6-of-24 shooting for 15 points and, well, look at his shot chart.

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Despite the struggles of their stars, the Thunder led most of the first half and stretched that lead to 62-50 at one point, thanks to good defense (particularly Serge Ibaka on Zach Randolph). It was 69-60 at one point early in the fourth. The athletic, quick-to-recover Thunder defense was back (on the night the Grizzlies shot just 36.7 percent).

Then The Grindhouse happened.

The Grizzlies never quit and pretty soon they were making plays. Marc Gasol was hitting shots all nigh (23 points, but on 21 shots) but suddenly with Zach Randolph on the bench (bad matchup) Tony Allen was getting to the rim and making plays, Mike Conley was hitting step backs and their run was on.

It was a back-and-forth fourth quarter, but the grind house was on and pretty soon Memphis had an 80-75 lead and seemed in control.

Then Jackson it a three. Next he stole the ball from Beno Udrih and attacked for a lay-up. He saved the game or them and maybe the season.

And we were tied 80-80.

The Grizzlies had their chances. They were just 13-of-23 on the night from the free throw line. They also had he last shot of regulation, but Gasol misses a 17 footer, Z-Bo misses tip, Tony Allen got the rebound and went up, but Serge Ibaka block it.

And it was overtime. Again.Third time in four games.

There the Reggie Jackson show continued — he had 8 points in the extra period. Memphis had chances but just couldn’t close the game, and when Conley missed a game-tying shot at the buzzer it was Jackson’s hand in his face.

The Thunder played with energy — that included Durant for much of the night — but nothing comes easy against Memphis. For the previous two games it had been Durant and Westbrook against the world with no real help from teammates (all the while Memphis would have five players in double figures). The stars needed help.

Reggie Jackson gave it to them and gave the Oklahoma City season new life.

  1. antistratfordian - Apr 27, 2014 at 2:25 AM

    Send LeBron the MVP trophy. KD isn’t ready for it yet.

    • shadowgamesshades - Apr 27, 2014 at 2:47 AM

      Shut up idiot.

      • money2long - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        Said lebron

  2. gameisours - Apr 27, 2014 at 5:00 AM

    As an OKC fan I am so glad that Reggie did that tonight, I was driving nuts watching KD and Russ jacking up shots from nearly everywhere and letting no other player be part of it. Its either Brooks’ fault for orginizing no offense, or it’s just battle between Russ and KD for more points (I doubt it’s the lattest).

    Can not say win was deserved, really.

  3. themagicfanguy - Apr 27, 2014 at 5:31 AM

    Look at that, a Lebron bandwagon fan crying because his superhero got outplayed by KD all season. Shocker.
    Maybe if Lebron had to play a real team he’d have an off night every now and then, I mean he’s playing the Bobcats dude.

    • money2long - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      Someone told me lebron would never sign in the west coast
      Any thoughts ?

  4. newyorkball82 - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    Lebron and the Heat in my opinion are playing THE worst team in the playoffs. Atlanta may be 8th but Charlotte is terrible and they don’t have a healthy Jefferson. Anti is a blinded Lebron lover.

    • money2long - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      I’d pick the bobcats over the hawks in a series.

    • Miami305 - Apr 27, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      Keep believing that! Miami comes up with their 4th championship this year and everyone knows it. Whichever team comes out of the West is going to be so beaten up and exhausted that Miami is going to run roughshod over them! Miami would beat the West even if the west had all the rest in the world.

      You are judging Miami by their regular season play. You have to remember that Miami almost got the 1st seed and they weren’t even trying all season. It was all their plan to preserve themselves to dominate whichever West pretender comes a calling.

      Heat 2014 NBA Champions!

      • money2long - Apr 28, 2014 at 3:17 AM

        I’m willing to say that was a completely non bias statement.

  5. j0esixpack - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    Mr. April

  6. miamatt - Apr 27, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Crazy how close the OKC season came to being on life-support. Incredible series!

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    If LeBron had KD’s game last night, ESPN/TNT/twitter/PBT might’ve imploded upon itself.

  8. jbeagles23 - Apr 27, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Kd deserved the regular season MVP award. But the playoffs are lebrons time.

  9. Miami305 - Apr 27, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    Memphis should have won this game. What was infuriating was in overtime there were several loose balls where Memphis stood around and stared at the ball while OKC was diving and trying to make plays. Both times OKC ended up with the ball and converted their hustle into points. Memphis should bang their heads on a wall over this game. This may well be the beginning of the end for Memphis this season. They blew it.

    If in the crazy chance that Memphis comes up triumphant in this series, there is no way Durant should receive the MVP trophy. If you can’t get out of the first round, the trophy goes straight into the hands of Lebron James.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 27, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      We’re better off with okc

      • miamatt - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        Bingo

    • miamatt - Apr 27, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      C’mon dude, I’m as big a LeBron supporter as there is, but the MVP is a regular season award and KD had a great one.

      Would I rather have LBJ than KD, playoffs or otherwise? Of course! But that isn’t the issue at hand.

  10. dolphindubs - Apr 27, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    @newyorkball82

    What? And people like you aren’t blinded LeBron haters?

    LeBron has his team up 3-0 in a series they’re supposed to win. Give him props and move on.

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