On His Grind: Jackson's 32 Carries Thunder Past Grizzlies

Sunday, April 27th 2014, 12:53 am
By: News 9

The third (over)time's a charm.

After falling in OT in both Game 2 and Game 3, Reggie Jackson and the Thunder weren't gonna take it any more. 

Jackson bailed out his poor-shooting teammates with 32 points and nine rebounds to lead the desperate Thunder to a 92-89 overtime win over the Grizzlies.

Despite the happy ending, it was another slow start. The Thunder came out firing blanks and trailed 18-15 after the first quarter, but woke up quickly.

Jackson awoke from his 2+ game slumber to carry Oklahoma City's offense.

After shooting just 2-14 in Game 2 and Game 3 combined, Jackson scored 11 points in the second quarter on a workmanlike 5-8 shooting.

Durant played possibly the worst half of his life. KD scored a playoff-career low three points on 1-7 shooting and committed five turnovers, but Jackson and the Thunder defense helped pick up the slack.

Kendrick Perkins helped hold Zach Randolph to 2-8 shooting, while OKC held Memphis to just 33 percent shooting in the half.

The Thunder outscored the Grizzlies 27-17 in the second and held a 42-35 lead at halftime.

Oklahoma City held a 12-point advantage after threee, and extended its lead to 13 in the fourth, but Memphis wasn't in a quitting mood. 

The Grizzlies outscored OKC 28-16 in the fourth to force overtime for the third straight game.  This time though, the Thunder was ready. 

Jackson continued to dominate, scoring eight points in the extra session, including six clutch free throws, to lead the Thunder to a victory and a 2-2 series. 

Thunder coach Scott Brooks praised Jackson's performance, specifically crediting Jackson for getting to the basket. 

"Reggie played an outstanding basketball game," Brooks said. "He was able to finish around the rim like he's done all year and I knew he would bounce back."

Durant's struggles continued throughout.  The likely MVP shot just 5-21 for the game, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds.  On the bright side, Durant didn't turn the ball over in the second half or overtime. 

Russell Westbrook also failed to find his stroke.  Westbrook also scored 15 on an equally poor 6-24 shooting. He did, however, fill out the stat sheet. Westbrook grabbed nine boards and dished out seven assists while committing seven turnovers. 

Serge Ibaka added 12 points and 14 boards.

Marc Gasol's 23 points and 11 rebounds led Memphis, while Mike Conley and Tony Allen each added 14. 

The Thunder shot just 36.7 percent from the floor; Oklahoma City's third straight sub-40-percent performance.  OKC shot 8-28 from deep (28.6 percent) but came through from the line, hitting 18-20. 

Memphis shot 37.2 percent and 30 percent from downtown. 

"Now it's tied up, it's 2-2," Brooks said about moving forward.  "It means we have to play with the same type of intensity on both ends of the floor in front of our home crowd, which is the best fans in the league."

Game 5 is Tuesday in Oklahoma City.