Just a week ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced that power forward Serge Ibaka would miss the remainder of the postseason because of a calf injury.
It was a huge blow to the Thunder, who not only need Ibaka as a rim-protector, but are a much better offensive team with him on the court.
As the San Antonio Spurs were dominating the Thunder in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, reports began to surface that Ibaka could in fact return and on Sunday he did just that. Ibaka scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots to help the Thunder to a 106-97 victory that cut the Spurs’ series lead to 2-1.
“I believe in God, and I believe in miracles, and I believe that everything is possible,” Ibaka told Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports. “When I did the MRI (on the calf), and the MRI showed us that I was really bleeding a lot, but I said, ‘I just want to keep believing, man.’ “The only thing I was thinking in my mind was, ‘At least I need to play maybe in Game 7, Game 7 (of this series).’ I was thinking, ‘I can not let my teammates down. I want to try to do the best I can, and maybe at least in Game 7.’ Yeah, it was a very special game. A very special game. It showed me that God loves me. He really heard my prayer, because normally this kind of injury to get back to play you need to wait like maybe four weeks. This took me 10 days. It’s a miracle, man believe me.”
Ibaka and the Thunder will take on the Spurs in game 4 on Tuesday night at 9:00 pm EST and the game is on TNT.