Ostensibly, the Thunder didn’t care that Reggie Jackson was back in town. Any player with a decent head and some media training will know to simply say, “it’s just another game. Nothing special.” This is all that OKC players would give up before the game on the topic. On the court and after the game though, it was easy to see the truth.
Kevin Durant and the Thunder showed a bit of an edge against Jackson and the Pistons, using a third quarter run to secure a 103-87 victory.
Jackson left the team on difficult terms last season—forcing his way out with a trade–and it doesn’t appear that time has made the two parties’ relationships any better.
When asked about the team’s relative containment of breakout player Andre Drummond, Durant said, “Steven Adams] did a great job on their best player, and Andre [Roberson] did a great job on their second-best player in [Kentavious] Caldwell-Pope and Russ did his job.” No love lost between KD and Reggie.
Russell Westbrook also had some passive-aggressive sentiment for Jackson. When asked about how the Thunder handled Jackson, he coyly responded, deadpan: “Who?”
KD played remarkably, shooting 10 of 22 (and 10-10 free throws) on his way to 34 points, 14 of them in the fourth quarter. Durant also had 13 rebounds, five assists, and three blocked shots.
Westbrook struggled, fouling out late in the fourth quarter. The league’s third-leading scorer had 14 points on 5-14 shooting. He also turned the ball over 11 times, tied with rookie Emmanuel Mudiay for most in a game this season. Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter had 14 points each. They combined for 10-14 field goal attempts and five blocked shots.
The Thunder improve to 11-6 on the season, now third in the Western Conference behind San Antonio and Golden State. OKC’s next two are road games against Eastern Conference opponents. Next up: the 11-7 Atlanta Hawks on Monday at 7 P.M.