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Thunder-Grizzlies: With Kevin Durant struggling mightily, Reggie Jackson's heroics bail out OKC

OKC 92, MEMPHIS 89 (OT) — Reggie Jackson’s career-high 32 points gave the Thunder a way to tie the series 2-2 even with a sub-par performance from Kevin Durant.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 27, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson (15) celebrates with Russell Westbrook (0) and Serge Ibaka (9) after Game 4 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, April 26, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Reggie Jackson (15) celebrates with Russell Westbrook (0) and Serge Ibaka (9) after Game 4 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, April 26, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

— Kevin Durant did what everyone says shooters are supposed to do.

He kept shooting.

But in the biggest game of the Thunder’s season, a contest that could go a long way toward making or breaking Oklahoma City’s season, Durant never could find his touch.

So the Thunder had to do it without him.

Riding some supreme confidence by reserve guard Reggie Jackson, the Thunder regained home-court advantage in its first-round series against Memphis with a resilient 92-89 overtime win Saturday night inside FedExForum. It was the third straight overtime game between these two teams.

Game 5 is Tuesday night.

And unless the Thunder wants to turn that contest into a fourth straight heart-stopper, it’ll need to figure out how to get Durant going.

The league’s reigning scoring champion and presumable Most Valuable Player struggled mightily throughout his 49 minutes. He scored 15 points on 5-for-21 shooting.

He added 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots but turned the ball over five times, each of those coming in a first half in which he sat on three points.

At that juncture, he had missed six of seven shots.

“I tell them all the time ‘If you only think you can impact the game scoring we’re not going to be successful,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “You impact the game many, many different ways. We’re built on defense. We’re built on teamwork.”

Jackson stepped in and gave his star forward a huge assist.

He scored a game- and career-high 32 points on 11 of 16 shots and added nine rebounds in 37 minutes. He took over down the stretch, first with two monumental baskets in the final minute of regulation to help force overtime and then with eight points in overtime.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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