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.
“That guy is unbelievable,” Kevin Durant said of Jackson. “The stuff he does, the shots he makes, just his aggressiveness. Tonight, he was great. I'm glad we have him, man, because there's not too many people in this league like him.”
And in the Thunder's season-high 40-point second quarter, which Popovich called the Spurs “demise,” Jackson was the catalyst. He scored 10 on 4-of-5 shooting, wearing out the Spurs' backcourt in much of the same way he did in OKC earlier this month.
In two games against San Antonio this season, Jackson has combined for 44 points on 18-of-28 shooting.
“He has been a big factor in both games,” Popovich said. “He has improved, sure, but his confidence level and his aggressiveness at both ends of the floor have been fantastic. He has been a real problem for us.”
But it's not just the Spurs. This dynamic, two-headed point guard monster has been torching teams regularly.
And it's a big reason the Thunder sits atop the West at 22-4, winners of 17 of its past 18, the best 26-game start for the franchise since moving to OKC.
“They are a great team,” Popovich said.
With a pair of great point guards.