A 37-point, third quarter outpour led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 108-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs Sunday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
The Thunder came into the second half with a 54-48 lead and extended it to 91-69 thanks to their two superstars, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The All-Star duo combined for 21 points and eight assists to go along with six rebounds and just one turnover in the quarter and all but assured the Thunder of its third victory in as many nights.
Durant finished the game with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists while Westbrook finished with 13 points and five assists.
Entering the game, questions surrounded Scott Brooks and his coaching staff about the backup point guard position due to Eric Maynor’s season-ending, ACL tear in their 98-95 victory over the Houston Rockets Saturday. Brooks hinted before the game that rookie guard Reggie Jackson would get the opportunity to seize the backup position and with his performance against the Spurs Sunday, he will likely hold onto it for the rest of the season.
Jackson entered the game at the 2:40 mark in the first quarter and didn’t hesitate to put points on the board. He missed a shot from beyond the arc with under a minute to play in the first, but got another opportunity and cashed in with a transition basket that gave the Thunder a four-point lead going into the second.
Jackson finished the game with 11 points and four assists in just over 23 minutes.
“I thought he (Jackson) did a good job,” Brooks said after the game. “That’s a tough position and I thought he did well at controlling the team. He’s worked hard since training camp and I thought he did a good job at picking his spots and running the team very well.”
Outside of a dominating third quarter from Durant and Westbrook, the Thunder was once again led by outstanding bench play. The second group combined for 53 of Oklahoma City’s 108 points and pulled down 23 rebounds. They also combined for 11 assists and six steals. James Harden led the way with 20 points and Nick Collison recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward and Royal Ivey scored 10 points in garbage time at the end of the fourth quarter.
After the game, the Thunder players claimed that their victory over the Spurs was dedicated to Maynor.
“That’s what this whole season is for,” Harden said. “It was a tough loss and we’re all sad for him, but with high hopes and high spirits he will be back soon.”