Oklahoma City Thunder: Reggie Jackson kicks it into high gear in Game 4 win over Memphis

The Thunder beat Memphis 92-89 in overtime Saturday night to even their Western Conference playoff series, and Jackson saved the Thunder. There is no other way to say it.
by Berry Tramel Published: April 27, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson (15) tries to drive between Memphis' Tony Allen (9) and Beno Udrih (19) during Game 4 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, April 26, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson (15) tries to drive between Memphis' Tony Allen (9) and Beno Udrih (19) during Game 4 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, April 26, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Said Scotty Brooks, “He’s worked on it. He’s improved his game in all areas. He’s improves his 3-point shooting by all the time he’s put in. Reggie stepped up for us.”

After a Durant steal, Jackson drove the lane and dropped in a runner that tied the game at 80 with 30.6 seconds left.

Maybe not the miracle comebacks of Games 2 and 3 that took the Thunder to overtime, but this time, OKC finished the deed in overtime and did it with a different face. Jackson scored eight points in overtime, including 6-of-6 on foul shots in the final two minutes. Jackson’s first pair gave the Thunder an 86-85 lead, and his last four padded Thunder leads.

This franchise has looked for a third wheel on the perimeter since James Harden was whisked to Houston. Perhaps the Thunder found it Saturday night in the form of Jackson, who is highly prized by the Thunder brass for his versatility, ability and demeanor.

“Reggie Jackson was tremendous, as we know he can be,” Joerger said. “He got all the way to the rim too many times. Probably was the difference in the game.”

The Thunder is a different team when it has that third wheel. Jackson has been that player from time to time. He was great down the stretch of this regular season. If he plays like this, the Thunder can survive the Memphis malaise and get about the business of winning the Western Conference.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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