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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) — After being dominated in the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, Oklahoma City controlled Game 3 Sunday and handed San Antonio a 106-97 loss. Serge Ibaka returned to the lineup for the Thunder as they closed the series gap to 2-1.
Originally thought lost for the playoffs, Ibaka started the game and recorded 15 points while pulling in seven rebounds and blocking four shots. At times there was a noticeable limp for Ibaka but the 6’10″ power forward provided the spark Oklahoma City needed.
“When you talk about a teammate, that’s everything you want in a teammate,” said teammate Kevin Durant. “I gained so much more respect for Serge for sacrificing himself for the team. Regardless of what happened tonight, that’s something you want beside you.”
After a back-and-forth first quarter that saw the Spurs hold a 29-28 advantage, it was an Ibaka layup that gave the Thunder the lead for good at 38-36 with 7:03 to play in the second. Oklahoma City continued to control tempo, leading by as many as 20 in the fourth quarter.
Freed up by the play of Ibaka, Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 51 points while the Thunder defense held San Antonio to less than 40% shooting from the floor. Oklahoma City also dominated the glass, outrebounding the Spurs 52-36 in the game.
“I was very disappointed that we didn’t come out with more of a foot in the neck sort of attitude,” explained Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “They killed us on the boards, they beat us in 50-50 balls and that’s very disappointing to me.”
Manu Ginobli had 23 points off the bench to pace the Spurs’ offense. Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard were the only other players in double figures for San Antonio. Game 4 is Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO) – Danny Green scored 21 points on seven made three-pointers as the San Antonio Spurs routed the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-77 in Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference Finals on Wednesday night.
Tony Parker led San Antonio with 22 points, while Tim Duncan added 14 points and 12 rebounds. Most importantly, the Spurs took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.
“We just did our job. We won our first two games at home and I’m sure they’re going to go back and say we have to do our job and win two games at home,” Parker said.
The Spurs closed the first half on a 25-8 run to take a 58-44 lead into the break. Parker and Green each scored eight points in the third quarter as the San Antonio outscored the Thunder 33-18.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 15 points for the Thunder, but the All-Star duo shot just 13-for-40 from the field.
“It definitely doesn’t feel good and it shouldn’t,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “I hope our locker doesn’t feel good. You shouldn’t feel good. We got our butts kicked. But we have a good opportunity to come back and win Game 3.”
Game 3 is set for Sunday in Oklahoma City.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO) — Tim Duncan scored 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Spurs dominated the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-105 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals on Monday night.
Tony Parker didn’t appear to be limited by the hamstring injury that sidelined him for parts of their series against the Portland Trail Blazers. He scored 14 points and dished out 12 assists in 36 minutes.
“We always want to try to penetrate,” Parker said. “We always want our ball movement, that’s how we play — kick and pitch and stuff like that. You know, obviously it’s a little bit better with [Serge Ibaka] not being in the paint, but we’re still going to try to penetrate and make stuff happen.”
San Antonio scored 66 points in the paint and shot 58 percent from the field. It was easy work inside for the Spurs, as Oklahoma City was without defensive stalwart Ibaka, who will miss the remainder of the postseason with a calf injury.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 53 points for the Thunder, but the rest of their starting unit struggled for most of the game.
“We’re a no-excuse team,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Serge is out. He’s not coming back. We have to play better. We have to play better. If we expect to beat one of the best teams in basketball, and a very good offensive team, we have to play and we’re not going to make an excuse.”
Game two will be played on Wednesday night in San Antonio.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(MIAMI) – LeBron James and the Miami Heat are on top of the basketball world for the second straight year as the team repeated as NBA champions, beating the San Antonio Spurs in a decisive Game 7 Thursday night.James r…
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif) – The San Antonio Spurs always seem to find ways to win.
Tim Duncan scored 19 points, Tony Parker scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and the Spurs eliminated the Golden State Warriors with …
Rick Stewart/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — The Buffalo Sabres fired longtime head coach Lindy Ruff on Wednesday.The 53-year-old Ruff was in his 16th season with the Sabres, having compiled a record of 571-432-78-84. He led them to the playoffs eight t…
Bruce Bennett/Getty Image(NEW YORK) – The NBA has fined the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 after head coach Gregg Popovich sat key players in a 105-100 loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday night.
Popovich sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, a…
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY) — The streak has been snapped. The San Antonio Spurs entered game 3 of their Western Conference Finals with a 20-game winning streak dating back to the regular season but after Thursday night, they&rsq…
Steve Dykes/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO) — The San Antonio Spurs looked anything but rusty on Tuesday night against the Clippers.
With eight-days off between playoff games, San Antonio cruised past the Clippers 108-92 in Game 1 of their Western Conferenc…
NBA via Getty ImagesAfter his team recorded the best record in the Western Conference this season, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich on Tuesday won the NBA’s Coach of the Year Award.Popovich received 77 first-place votes and 467 total points….
Los Angeles Lakers/NBA(SAN ANTONIO) — Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum did something that hasn’t been done in over two years in the NBA. Bynum pulled down 30 rebounds in the Lakers (37-22) 98-84 win over the Spurs on Wednesday night.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO) — San Antonio Spurs guard T.J. Ford will be hanging up his NBA jersey for good.
He announced his retirement on Twitter on Monday.
“Basketball has been great to me & my family for 28yrs,” he wrote….
San Antonio Spurs/NBA(SAN ANTONIO) — Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich notched his 800th career victory as San Antonio defeated the Utah Jazz Saturday night, 104-89. Popovich began his head coaching career, when he took over for Bob Hill during the 1996…