Rapid reaction: Oklahoma City beats New Orleans 92-88 for ninth straight win
By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma City beat New Orleans 92-88 in Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday night. Here’s some rapid reaction:
After resisting it all game (and for much of the season), Scott Brooks went small late in the third quarter in an effort to spark his sluggish team. It worked. Trialing 62-52, Brooks subbed in Eric Maynor and Reggie Jackson together, playing them alongside Kevin Martin, Kevin Durant and Nick Collison. Immediately, the Thunder went on an energized 15-2 spurt, changing the complexion of the game.
It was over when…
…Greivis Vasquez clanged the potential game-winning three with less than a second left, completing an atrocious shooting night for the Hornets (39.8 percent) and clinching the Thunder’s ninth consecutive win.
Star of the game – Kevin Durant
OKC’s only offensive weapon for most of the night, KD went for 35 points on 11/19 shooting (12/14 from the line) and added nine rebounds. Or, as the Thunder star likes to call it, ‘Wednesday’.
Unsung hero – Reggie Jackson
The line doesn’t pop out at you (five points and two rebounds in 11 minutes), but his impact was evident to those who watched. He brought instant energy off the bench, playing with the competitive fire of a guy who’s not too pleased about being buried so far down the Thunder bench. And as a coach, that’s how you’d want and expect a young guy to react. But should Scott Brooks play him more in the future? Not necessarily. Not unless the game dictates it (like tonight). Reggie Jackson’s provides an offensive punch. That’s his biggest asset. And that’s also something the Thunder hasn’t been lacking (averaging an NBA-best 106 points per game). So you can’t really second-guess Brooks’ rotations, especially during a nine-game win streak.
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