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Sports

April 27, 2014

OKC triumphs in overtime to even series with Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Oklahoma City  coach Scott Brooks called it “another leave it on the floor game for both teams.”

That equaled yet another overtime game — the third consecutive in this series — and the hero was reserve Reggie Jackson.

Jackson scored a playoff-best 32 points, and the Thunder beat the Memphis Grizzlies 92-89 Saturday night, tying up their first-round Western Conference series at two apiece.

Jackson had only scored 15 points combined in this series, but the guard shook off his shooting woes by hitting 11 of 16. He outscored Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who struggled through their worst scoring game of the series. Durant was 5 of 21 for 15 points, while Westbrook was 6 of 24 for 15 points.

“Reggie played an outstading game,” Brooks said. “He was able to attack and finish around the rim like he’s done all year.

“I knew he would bounce back That’s what he’s done for us  when he started and he’s done a good job of giving us the lift when we’ve needed it offensively as the sixth man.”

Getting punch from someone other than Durant or Westbrook might indicate a plus in that the Thunder showed it could throw a knockout punch without their top two scorers.

Both contributed in other ways. Durant had 13 rebounds, Westbrook 9. Westbrook had seven assists and Durant four. Serge Ibaka was 6 of 11 from the field and had 12 points to go with 14 rebounds.

“I tell them all the time if you only think you can impact the game socring, you’re not going to be successful,” Brooks said. “We haven’t made shots in three games.  Sometimes that happens, unfortunately that’s happened to us now.”

The Thunder blew a 14-point lead with Memphis, and the Grizzlies blew a third straight fourth-quarter lead themselves. Jackson tied up Memphis with five straight points in the final minute of regulation.

Marc Gasol led Memphis with 23 points. The Grizzlies had won the previous two overtime games in the series.

Game 5 is Tuesday night back in Oklahoma City.

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