Thabo Sefolosha poked the ball away near halfcourt, Reggie Jackson corralled it during the scramble and, together, they were off for a two-on-one fastbreak.
But as Sefolosha and the Celtics defender barreled down the lane, Jackson floated toward the left wing, with the ball, and a look of confidence.
Right in front of Scott Brooks and the Thunder bench, Jackson, a career 25 percent 3-point shooter, opted for the long-range bomb instead of the higher-percentage drive.
And why not?
During the Thunder’s 119-96 whooping of Boston on Sunday in OKC, Jackson was scorching hot in the early minutes.
The game was less than six minutes old. He was already 3-of-3 for eight points. His shot felt good in pregame. His confidence was flowing.
So Jackson unleashed the two-on-one 3-pointer that basketball purists loathe.
Splash. Timeout Celtics. Seven minutes left in the first quarter: Reggie Jackson was outscoring the Celtics 11-9.
“Reggie started it off,” Scott Brooks said. “His stroke was right on target.”
And it didn’t leave him the rest of the night.
After that 11-point first quarter, Jackson reentered in the second, with the Celtics making a nice push, cutting the one-time 12-point lead to two.
He proceeded to drop in a silky mid-range, deftly attack the basket to earn four free throws and close out the half with another 26-foot three. Thunder lead back to double-digits.
“He was great,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, shaking his head. “He was great tonight.”