Even better, he did it on 9-of-12 shooting and 3-of-3 from deep, an efficient stat-line that's been hard for him to come by of late.
Since reinsertion into the starting lineup, Jackson was 23-of-63 overall (36 percent) in the five previous games. And at times, he looked frustrated.
“I thought he played really relaxed today,” Kendrick Perkins said. “Last couple games, I thought he been a little tense … He’s a score-first attack point guard. So we need that out of him.”
And moving forward, OKC hopes that’ll continue.
In the first portion of this breakout season, Jackson has made a clear jump. He went from relative unknown to legit sixth man candidate, with Brad Stevens even identifying Jackson’s development as the reason he considers OKC as “one of the two or three favorites to win the whole thing.”
But with Westbrook’s current absence, Jackson has a chance to make another leap, improving his game while proving he can be a legit starter in this league, battling some of the best point guards on a night-to-night basis.
“It’s not easy to come in and be the starting point guard on this team after playing behind an All-Star,” Kevin Durant said. “It’s hard to fill those shoes, but I think he’s doing a tremendous job.”