By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
OKLAHOMA CITY — Reggie Jackson scored 18 points and added six assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 88-82 win over the Utah Jazz Sunday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
Gordon Hayward paced the Jazz (1-4) with 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting.
Kevin Durant scored only 5 points in 18 minutes, but Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks knows what he can expect from his all star forward.
“Just continue to be the leader that he has been,” Brooks said. “Taking the team and continue to guide it in the right direction. Kevin is a terrific offensive player. He’s been improved in his play making in the last year.”
Oklahoma City (4-1) once again played without center Kendrick Perkins. But the team expects him to practice today as he makes his way back from a dislocated ring finger.
Brooks used the Thunder’s fifth preseason game as a chance to see what his top two rookies can do. Both Steven Adams and Andre Roberson were inserted into the starting lineup for the first time.
While Adams has played solid in previous outings, Brooks said he wanted to see Roberson in extended minutes. The forward out of Baylor played 23 minutes and collected only two points with three rebounds before fouling out with 1:06 left in the third quarter.
“Don’t know how we’re going to use him this year,” Brooks said. “I know he can rebound the basketball. He is going to give you great effort on the defensive end. Offensively, he’s going to have to continue to improve in that area.”
Before the game, the preseason crew chief and officials met with the local media to discuss the 2013-14 points of emphasis. They highlighted several areas including illegal screening, contact on jumpshots, traveling and delay of games.
“Anytime it’s going to make the game flow much freely, I think it’s good for the game,” Brooks said. “Like touching the ball after it goes through the net. It’s a trick a lot of guys use. You want the game to continue to flow.”
Follow me @eyeamtruth