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 email@example.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.