The Man is back: Serge Ibaka returns as Oklahoma City Thunder beat San Antonio Spurs
Ibaka was seemingly set to miss the remainder of the NBA play-offs with a calf injury but he made his way back onto the court to post 15 points and seven rebounds as the Thunder downed the Spurs in game three at Chesapake Energy Arena.
“I think I did very very well,” Ibaka told TNT post-game.
“I just wanted to give us some energy… and control everything (in the paint) and rebound.”
All-Star duo Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were also influential for the Thunder, who now trail 2-1 in the Western Conference finals series after outscoring the Spurs in every period except for the opening quarter.
Durant had 25 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes, while Westbrook provided seven assists to go with his game-high 26 points and eight boards.
Reggie Jackson was the only other Oklahoma City player to reach double figures, scoring 15 points in the triumph.
As for the visiting Spurs, they were led by Manu Ginobili, who finished with 23 points off the bench.
Ginobili scored 20 of his 23 points in the opening half, while he also made six three-pointers.
Veteran Tim Duncan was the next-best performer for San Antonio with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Kawhi Leonard had 10 points, while Tony Parker only managed nine points in a subdued display for the visitors’.
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