SAN ANTONIO — During his pregame talk, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was asked about Reggie Jackson, the Thunder's backup point guard who torched San Antonio in early December.
He seemed adequately worried.
Then, unprovoked, Popovich also brought up the more accomplished of the Thunder's two-headed point guard monster, noting that Russell Westbrook wouldn't shoot nearly as poorly (2-of-16) as he did the last time OKC played the Spurs.
Right and right.
Westbrook didn't duplicate his performance. Jackson did. And combined, that was bad news for Popovich and the Spurs, who fell 113-100 to the Thunder on Saturday night.
From the tip, Westbrook controlled the game, putting up 31 points and eight assists on an efficient 13-of-22 shooting.
He dominated his All-Star matchup against Tony Parker, sparking a 113-point offensive effort against a defense that only gives up 94.7 per game, fourth fewest in the NBA.
“He's an All-Star and playing like one every night,” Scott Brooks said of Westbrook. “He makes us go with his effort, with his toughness, with his team mentality.”
Then there was Jackson, the explosive third-year guard who continued his breakout season.
In 30 minutes off the bench, Jackson had 21 points and four assists on 8-of-14 shooting.