Serge Ibaka returned to the court on Sunday night after missing the first two games of the Western Conference Final with an injured calf and scored 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked four shots to help the Oklahoma City Thunder take down the San Antonio Spurs 106-97 and cut the Spurs’ series lead to 2-1.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 26 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals and Kevin Durant finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Manu Ginobili finished with 23 points, but only scored three points in the second half. Tim Duncan finished with 16 points and eight rebounds and Kawhi Leonard scored 10.
The Thunder made two major changes, replacing Nick Collison with Ibaka and inserting Reggie Jackson into the starting lineup. Jackson scored 15 points, dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds.
Both teams got off to fantastic starts on offense with the Spurs taking a 29-28 advantage at the end of the first quarter. The Thunder battled back in the second quarter to take a 57-53 halftime lead after an exciting ending that saw Ginobili drill a three-pointer at the shot clock buzzer after bobbling the ball followed by a buzzer-beating 36-foot three from Russell Westbrook. The Thunder built a double-digit lead in the second quarter, but led by just seven entering the fourth quarter. The Thunder scored the first seven points of the quarter to take a 14-point lead and soon pushed the lead to 20.
Game 4 from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is Tuesday at 9:00 pm EST and the game is on TNT.
Tags: Boris Diaw Gregg Popovich Kawhi Leonard Kevin Durant Manu Ginobili NBA Playoffs 2014 Nick Collison Oklahoma City Thunder Reggie Jackson Russell Westbrook San Antonio Spurs Scott Brooks Serge Ibaka Tim Duncan Tony Parker