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Thunder-Grizzlies: Broadcast calls of Jackson heroics were routine

REMOTE PATROL — The ESPN broadcast of Game 4 included a biblical reference from Doris Burke, who was criticized earlier this season for her perceived slight of Kevin Durant’s crediting Jesus Christ.
by Mel Bracht Published: April 27, 2014

Reggie Jackson’s playoff-high 32 point performance drew raves from both the ESPN and Fox Sports Oklahoma announcers Saturday night.

“Jackson with an epic performance,” FSOK announcer Brian Davis said.

“A jubilant Russell Westbrook and a grateful Kevin Durant for the performance of Reggie Jackson,” ESPN analyst Mark Jones said as the Thunder celebrated on the court after Mike Conley missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that could have tied the game.

Davis’ call on the shot: “Conley spins challenged by Reggie Jackson. No. Thunder wins! Thunder wins! Thunder wins! I think we found out what kind of team we got.”

Jackson hit four straight free throws in the final minute of overtime to preserve the victory.

“He’s been there before with the game on the line,” FSOK analyst Grant Long noted.

Jackson bailed out Durant and Westbrook, who had subpar shooting performances.

As Durant laid on the floor asking for a foul in his worst playoff performance of his career, ESPN analyst Doris Burke raved about Tony Allen’s defensive effort late in the fourth quarter Saturday night.

“That is a bulldog in that No. 9 jersey,” Burke said. “It has taken a phenomenal amount of energy to battle as that guy has battled.”

Burke, best known for calling college basketball games, showed she also is quite adroit at the NBA game. Burke and Mark Jones were an entertaining duo.

Joking how Allen appeared to have injured an ankle as he laid on the court and then shot up after a turnover for a dunk, Jones sounded amazed.

“He got better in a hurry,” Jones said. “It was like Paul on the road to Damascus. That was a huge turnaround.”

Burke got a kick out of the biblical reference.

“I didn’t know you doubled as a biblical scholar. Do you preach as well?”

Jones responded, “Just in my spare time.”

The announcers noted that Westbrook had come to the defense of Thunder coach Scott Brooks when Westbrook’s brother had tweeted that the Thunder needed to make a coaching change.

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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