NORMAN — Reggie Jackson took it personally. The second-year point guard put Oklahoma City’s Game 2 loss to Memphis squarely on his shoulders.
Jackson’s reasoning had other factors than scoring 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting and only two assists. It was the fact he lost the backcourt matchup to the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley, who posted 26 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
“I take that personal, especially since I almost gave the guy a triple-double,” Jackson said. “Can’t let that happen again. I feel that great players always take things personally with matchups. Like I’ve said since Day One, I want to be great, so I have to do a better job of slowing him down and not letting him by, not letting the head of the snake bite us again.”
Jackson will get another shot at Conley in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal which begins at 4 p.m. today at the FedEx Forum, which has been nicknamed the “Grindhouse.”
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “We’re ready to go out to Memphis and play a basketball game. We know what we have to do and we’re excited about the challenge. We’re going there to try to win Game 3. That’s always been our focus — worrying about each game. Our guys have thrived having that mentality all year long.”
Jackson knows his defense on Conley will have to be tighter. But the best defense is a good offense. He wants to put the pressure on Conley, and make him work on both ends of the court.
“I’m going to try and get in the paint and make plays,” Jackson said. “That’s kind of my role on this team and the abilities I have. I just have to stay aggressive. Put the pedal to the metal and make plays.”