GAME IN REVIEWBy Nick Gallo | Thunder Basketball Writer firstname.lastname@example.org July 9th, 2013 RECAP: ORLANDO – For the second straight day, resiliency was the key for the Thunder. Trailing by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter to the Detroit Pistons, the Thunder rallied back behind a powerful performance by Reggie Jackson and a full team effort on the defensive end to come away with a 79-75 victory. The Thunder moved to 3-0 on the week with the victory, which showed a team that came together collectively to again impress its coaching staff. The execution wasn’t always perfect, but Thunder assistant coach Rex Kalamian enjoyed the team’s energy. “I’ve learned that they compete, play extremely hard and play for each other,” Kalamian said. The Thunder had some difficulties in the third quarter when the Pistons broke away and eventually built a double-digit lead, but a 23-8 run over the final eight minutes turned the tide. Jackson was relentless in the way he attacked in the pick-and-roll and confident as he pulled up for mid-range jumpers and three-pointers. The third-year point guard scored 23 of his Summer League record 35 points in the fourth quarter, including a stretch of 18 straight during the Thunder’s big run. A leader for the club in Orlando, Jackson was quick to praise his teammates for the rally. The coaching staff and the entire team realizes that a consistent, team-wide effort on both ends of the floor will be critical to overall success. “People look at the scoring, but (it wasn’t) without my teammates encouraging me to shoot and keep going,” Jackson said. “These guys did a good job spacing the floor. Everybody just bought in. We play all 40 minutes. That’s two games we’ve won from behind. The guys in the locker room, it’s special to play with them. They don’t quit. They play hard all the time.” “The thing I’m trying to preach with him and even with this team, is that consistency is the key,” Kalamian said. “One quarter, one play doesn’t make our game. Our effort, our focus has to be persistent and consistent throughout the game.” Throughout the afternoon the Thunder stayed tough on the defensive end, even if it struggled offensively. Including two 24-second shot clock violations, the Thunder forced Detroit into 18 turnovers thanks to 10 steals. By getting stops, boxing out and grabbing defensive rebounds, the Thunder was able to put the clamps on the Pistons for long enough to even up the scoreboard and take the lead. Dwight Buycks led the way for the Thunder with four steals and also added a huge three-pointer off a pass from Jackson to cap the team’s big run. “That’s what we base ourselves on, our defense,” Buycks said. “We had some bumps throughout the whole game and some ups and downs but we stuck in there as a team and we got stops when we needed them. We had Reggie give a great performance and he lifted us up. We all stayed ready for him.” The fourth quarter when the Thunder outscored the Pistons by 15 was obviously critical to the outcome of the game, but this win had roots throughout the game. Rookie center Steven Adams battled Andre Drummond in the paint all day and finished with 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting in addition six rebounds in a solid overall performance. His fellow rookie Andre Roberson had nine rebounds in the first half alone and grabbed six offensive boards which helped the Thunder to 17 second chance points. Epitomized by the play of Adams and Roberson, each member of the Thunder contributed in their own way, using prime effort and energy to put the team in position to win. “We knew we had to stay steady and consistent with our energy level,” Roberson said. “We knew were in it for the long haul. Being resilient is what we’re all about. I think we did a great job of showing that.” TURNING POINT: The Thunder trailed by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter, and was behind 61-51 with 7:33 remaining in this one before it put together a 23-8 run over the next seven minutes to snatch away the game. The run was spearheaded by Reggie Jackson, who scored 18 straight points including two threes, two pull-up jumpers, two free throws and two strong finishes at the rim. The run was capped as Jackson hit Steven Adams with a pass which led to a foul and two free throws, then Jackson found Dwight Buycks for a dagger three-pointer with 32.7 seconds remaining, giving the Thunder a 74-69 advantage. On the other end of the floor, the Thunder forced two turnovers and six missed shots to get back into the game. PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON'T SHOW, FIRST HALF: DeAndre Liggins smartly pump fakes on the perimeter to get his defender in the air and draw a shooting foul. Really solid screen by Steven Adams to free up Reggie Jackson at the top of the key for a drive. Great team-wide defense forces a scrambled play for Detroit that concludes with a travel just before the shot clock expired. Another solid defensive possession forces Detroit into a shot clock violation. PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON'T SHOW, SECOND HALF: Incredible hustle by Liggins and Andre Roberson to dive on the floor for a loose ball and tap it away to force a shot clock violation. Jackson sticks with the play to make a steal in the backcourt. Good relocation to the wing by Kyle Kuric to free himself up for a three-pointer. Smart foul by Grant Jerrett to prevent an easy dunk.
2 Shot clock violations the Thunder’s defense forced on the day and it almost had a third if not for a Pistons travel with one second left on the shot clock 4-for-5 Shooting numbers for Steven Adams, who finished with 11 points and six rebounds 10 Steals by the Thunder on the day, part of 18 forced turnovers 10 Rebounds for Andre Roberson, including nine in the first half and six on the offensive end 13 Points for Dwight Buycks to go with four steals and six rebounds 17-10 The Thunder’s advantage in second chance points thanks to 15 offensive rebounds 35 Points for Reggie Jackson, a Summer League record, including 18 straight for his team and 23 in the fourth quarter 36-21 The amount by which the Thunder outscored the Pistons in the fourth quarter UP NEXT:
The Thunder's Summer League team will face the Philadelphia 76ers at noon CT on Wednesday. The game will air on NBA-TV.The 3-0 Thunder has 14 overall tournament points so far in the Summer League, putting it in first place so far. Teams get three points for a win and one point for every quarter that it wins. After an off day on Thursday, the Thunder will play its final game on Friday with time and opponent to be determined depending on its seeding.