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Rockets’ James Harden Sympathizes with Thunder Guard Reggie Jackson

Rockets’ James Harden Sympathizes with Thunder Guard Reggie Jackson

Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the midst of having a career-season, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson is bound for restricted free agency after turning down an extension from the team. Former Thunder guard and current Houston Rocket James Harden, supports Jackson's decision.

“I fell into the same situation, and that could have been my only contract and I’m sure Reggie feels the same way,” Harden told The Oklahoman. “He has to get the money that he’s earned and that he’s worked his whole life for. It’s the nature of the business. It’s going to happen every single year and it’s going to continue to happen.”

Harden spent the first three years of his career with the Thunder, but was traded to Houston after the team realized they could not give into his salary demands as he was approaching free agency.

Jackson's scoring average has increased each year he's been in the NBA. Through eight games this season, Jackson is averaging 21.5 points per game.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 11/12/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 11/12/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA: Washington Wizards 107 (6-2) – Detroit Pistons 103 (2-6)

Atlanta Hawks 100 (4-3) – Utah Jazz 97 (3-6)

Oklahoma City Thunder 109 (3-6) – Boston Celtics 94 (3-4)

Indiana Pacers 81 (3-6) – Miami Heat 75 (5-3)

Orlando Magic 97 (3-6) – New York Knicks 95 (2-7)

New Orleans Pelicans 109 (4-3) – Los Angeles Lakers 102 (1-7)

Phoenix Suns 112 (5-3) - Brooklyn Nets 104 (4-3)

Portland Trail Blazers 130 (6-3) - Denver Nuggets 113 (1-6)

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs 6 (9-5-2; 20pts) – Boston Bruins 1 (10-7-0; 20pts) 

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Brook Lopez Returns, Nets Dominate Thunder

Brook Lopez Returns, Nets Dominate Thunder

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For the first time in nearly a year, Brook Lopez stepped on the court in an NBA game. The Brooklyn center scored 18 points and pulled in six rebounds as the Nets beat Oklahoma City 116-85 in their home opener on Monday night.

"I can't put it in words," said Lopez, who broke his foot last December and was forced to miss the rest of the season. "It was great to be back out there. I've missed it for a long time and our team definitely took care of business tonight. Our guys make it easy."

Lopez was 6-for-10 from the floor in 24 minutes as the Nets (2-1) notched their biggest home-opening win ever. The center's 18 points was tied for the team-high, with Alan Anderson also pouring in 18 off the bench. Deron Williams added 17 points and nine assists as Brooklyn opened up a 32-19 lead after the first quarter, due in large part to going 5-for-7 from three-point land.

"It was just good to see him have that bounce, explosion," Kevin Garnett said of Lopez's return. "We know he's having foot problems. He's playing through a lot, man. And like I've said, if we're going to be anything, we're going to need the big fellow."

The Thunder (1-3) have been suffering their own injury issues with both Kevin Durant (foot) and Russell Westbrook (hand) unavailable. Reggie Jackson did make his season debut for Oklahoma City after missing the first three games, and scored a game-high 23 points in the loss.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 11/1/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 11/1/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NCAA Football: (7) TCU 31 (7-1) - (20) West Virginia 30 (6-3)

Florida 38 (4-3) - (11) Georgia 20 (6-2)

(13) Baylor 60 (7-1) - Kansas 14 (2-6)

(15) Nebraska 35 (8-1) - Purdue 14 (3-6)

(18) Oklahoma 59 (6-2) - Iowa State 14 (2-6)

Temple 20 (5-3) - (23) East Carolina 10 (6-2)

(24) Duke 51 (7-1) - Pittsburgh 48 (4-5) Double Overtime

NASCAR Nationwide Series: Kyle Busch wins the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. Joey Logano was second.

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Russell Westbrook Suffers Fractured Hand, Out Indefinitely

Russell Westbrook Suffers Fractured Hand, Out Indefinitely

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- The injuries are piling up fast for the Oklahoma City Thunder as All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook suffered a small fracture of the second metacarpal in his right hand Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Westbrook suffered the injury with 6:35 left in the second quarter and underwent X-rays at the Staples Center.

It is unknown just how long Westbrook will be out of action, but the typical recovery time for the injury is about 6-8 weeks.

Already without league MVP Kevin Durant and free agent acquisition Anthony Morrow, the Thunder, who were expected to be among the NBA's best teams this season, find themselves without a couple of their best players for at least the next month of the season.

"It's unfortunate the way it is right now, but we have to figure out how to get better from all of our experiences," coach Scott Brooks said. "Good teams and good players bounce back from adversity, and our guys understand that."

Westbrook is in his seventh season in the NBA, all with the Thunder. He's averaged 20.1 points, 6.9 assists, and 4.9 rebounds per game since entering the league.

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Durant has Successful Foot Surgery

Durant has Successful Foot Surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder/NBA(NEW YORK) -- Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant had successful surgery on his right foot to repair a Jones fracture, the team announced Thursday.Durant will be re-evaluated in six weeks; he's expected to miss six to eight weeks."Successful surgery, thanks for all the prayers and concerns! Headed back to okc. Move em," Durant tweeted Thursday.The team became aware of Durant's problem after practice Saturday when the reigning league MVP said his foot was "aching." The Thunder then announced Sunday that Durant had endured the Jones fracture, which is a broken bone at the base of the small toe, and that surgery would probably be necessary.The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson at the OrthoCarolina Foot and Ankle Clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina.The 26-year-old Durant averaged 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game last season.

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Kevin Durant Out 6-8 Weeks with Jones Fracture in Foot

Kevin Durant Out 6-8 Weeks with Jones Fracture in Foot

Oklahoma City Thunder/NBA(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant will be out six to eight weeks with a Jones fracture in his foot, the team announced on Sunday.

Durant noticed the pain in his foot and notified the team after practice on Saturday.

There is no official timetable for the reigning MVP, but general manager Sam Presti said that he will do his best to improve the team while Durant is sidelined.

"In regard to replacing a player like Kevin Durant, you don't replace Kevin Durant. It's not going to be one person. It's going to be a collective mindset," Presti said. "We know we're a better basketball team with Kevin Durant on the floor. But we can have some influence on how good we are in the meantime. We're certainly not going to be looking at the calendar waiting for him to get back. I don't think he'd want us to do that."

Presti said that it's a good thing that Durant let the team know now instead of starting the regular season with the fracture.

"Because it's a stress injury, it happened over time," Presti said. "The fact that Kevin mentioned it when he did is a real fortunate piece of this because if he had continued to play on it, it would continue to get worse. So that it was identified when it was identified, and that the pain, or achiness, was enough to mention it, is a positive."

Durant averaged 32 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 81 games last season and has played the most minutes in the league since 2007.

"Coming in to this season having not played USA Basketball, reflecting on that decision now, I think clearly, probably helped him a great deal, just the amount of stress he was able to avoid at that point in time," Presti said. "I think that brought him back in to camp in a good spot."

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Durant Withdraws from Team USA

Durant Withdraws from Team USA

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Oklahoma City Thunder star forward Kevin Durant withdrew from Team USA, citing "physical and mental fatigue."Durant, who is the reigning NBA MVP, broke the news to Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo and head coach Mike Krzyzewski Thursday. "This was an extremely difficult decision as I take great pride in representing our country," Durant said in a statement. "I know that I owe it to my USA Basketball teammates to be totally invested in the experience. After going through training camp with USAB, I realized I could not fulfill my responsibilities to the team from both a time and energy standpoint.

Durant continued, "I need to take a step back and take some time away, both mentally and physically in order to prepare for the upcoming NBA season. I will be rooting for USAB and look forward to future opportunities with them."

Durant joins fellow forwards Kevin Love, Paul George, and LaMarcus Aldridge as players who will not play for the U.S. in the FIBA World Cup in Spain this summer.

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Serge Ibaka’s Brother Will Play for Oklahoma State

Serge Ibaka’s Brother Will Play for Oklahoma State

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- There will be another Ibaka calling Oklahoma home. Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka's younger brother, Igor, will play for Oklahoma State in the 2015-16 season. The 6-foot-8 Ibaka played for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M last season, but he will not be eligible to play JUCO ball next season because he will have surpassed the age limit.

Ibaka averaged 13.7 points and 9.6 rebounds as a freshman last season. In an interview with The Oklahoman, NEO coach Dustin Grover said that Wichita State and Tulsa were also interested in Ibaka.

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Phil Jackson Fined $25K for Tampering

Phil Jackson Fined $25K for Tampering

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Knicks president Phil Jackson was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Monday for tampering with Oklahoma City's Derek Fisher.

Sources with knowledge of the situation said that Jackson was fined for comments he made at a press conference last week regarding the Thunder guard. Jackson had said that Fisher was on his short list of possible candidates for the vacant Knicks head coaching position. Fisher was still an active member of the Thunder when the comments were made.

The league's anti-tampering rules state that teams cannot directly or indirectly express their interest in other team's impeding free agents. Fisher's contract with Oklahoma City was up when the Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday. Fisher played for Jackson while with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1999-2004 and again from 2007-2011.

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Spurs Win West, Earn Rematch with Miami

Spurs Win West, Earn Rematch with Miami

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- Tim Duncan scored seven of his 19 points in overtime as San Antonio outlasted Oklahoma City, 112-107 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. With the win, the Spurs advance to their second straight NBA Finals where they will face the Miami Heat. 

After five blowout games, three in favor of San Antonio, the Spurs and Thunder played their most hotly contested game of the series. Duncan also had 15 rebounds as San Antonio had to play the entire second half without point guard Tony Parker, who left with an ankle injury.

"We didn't know how much Tony was hurt in his ankle," said Boris Diaw, who led the Spurs with 26 points off the bench. "But we didn't want to go to Game 7, and we didn't know if he would be ready to play if we did or if he would be 100 percent, so we tried to get it over with tonight."

San Antonio trailed by seven at halftime but opened the second half on a 9-2 run to tie things at 51-51. The Spurs scored 37 points in the third quarter and entered the final frame with a 79-69 lead. Oklahoma City, led by league MVP Kevin Durant, battled back to take a 99-97 lead with 32 seconds left in regulation. 

Manu Ginobli drilled a three from the top of the arc to put the Spurs ahead by one, but missed a free throw that would have given San Antonio a four-point advantage. That opened the door for Russell Westbrook who was fouled on a drive to the basket, hit both free throws, and forced overtime.

Duncan scored all seven of his overtime points in a row, leading San Antonio from a 103-105 deficit to a 110-107 lead. The Spurs will face Miami in a rematch of last year's NBA Finals that the Heat won in seven games. Game 1 of the 2014 Championship round is Thursday night in Texas.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 5/29/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/29/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NHL Eastern Conference Finals - Game 6: New York Rangers 1 - Montreal Canadiens 0 (Rangers win series, 4-2)

NBA Western Conference Finals: San Antonio Spurs 117 - Oklahoma City Thunder 89 (Spurs lead series, 3-2)

MLB: Detroit Tigers 5 (30-20) - Oakland Athletics 4 (32-22)

Texas Rangers 5 (28-26) - Minnesota Twins 4 (24-27)

New York Mets 4 (25-28) - Philadelphia Phillies 1 (23-28)

Boston Red Sox 4 (24-29) - Atlanta Braves 3 (28-25)

Kansas City Royals 8 (25-28) - Toronto Blue Jays 6 (32-23)

Houston Astros 3 (23-32) - Baltimore Orioles 1 (26-26)

Arizona Diamondbacks 4 (23-33) - Cincinnati Reds 0 (23-29)

San Francisco Giants 6 (35-19) - St. Louis Cardinals 5 (29-25)

Pittsburgh Pirates 6 (24-29) - Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (29-26)

Los Angeles Angels 7 (30-23) - Seattle Mariners 5 (26-27)

 

 

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Westbrook Scores 40, Thunder Evens Series with Spurs 2-2

Westbrook Scores 40, Thunder Evens Series with Spurs 2-2

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- Russell Westbrook had 40 points, five rebounds, 10 assists, and five steals to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past the San Antonio Spurs 105-92 Tuesday night, in Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

The best-of-seven series is now tied at two games apiece.

"Coach told us he needed maximum effort from us tonight, and it starts with me at point guard," Westbrook said. "My job is to play both sides of the ball. If you want to win a championship, those are things you have to do."

The Thunder did just that holding the Spurs under 40 percent shooting from the field while hitting 48.7% of its shots in the win.

Thunder big man Serge Ibaka played 35 minutes and had eight rebounds and three blocks in his second game back from an injury that was supposed to keep him out the rest of the postseason.

"We just play well with Serge," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said. "We can do things with Serge in the lineup that we can't do with other guys."

Kevin Durant added 31 points for the Thunder, who outscored the Spurs 21-0 in fast break points.

Boris Diaw and Tony Parker both scored 14 points for the Spurs in the loss.

Game 5 is in San Antonio Thursday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. Eastern.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 5/27/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/27/14

Getty Images/Hemera (NEW YORK) -- NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Eastern Conference Finals: Montreal Canadiens 7 – New York Rangers 4 (Rangers lead series, 3-2)

NBA Playoffs - Western Conference Final: Oklahoma City Thunder 105 - San Antonio Spurs 92

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays 9 (31-22) – Tampa Bay Rays 6 (23-30)

Boston Red Sox 6 (22-29) – Atlanta Braves 3 (28-23)

New York Mets 4 (23-28) – Pittsburgh Pirates 2 (23-28)

Minnesota Twins 4 (24-25) – Texas Rangers 3 (26-26)

St. Louis Cardinals 6 (29-23) – New York Yankees 0 (27-24)

Milwaukee Brewers 7 (31-22) - Baltimore Orioles 6 (26-24) 10 Innings

Colorado Rockies 6 (28-24) - Philadelphia Phillies 2 (22-27)

Houston Astros 3 (21-32) - Kansas City Royals 0 (24-27)

San Diego Padres 4 (24-29) - Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (21-33)

Los Angeles Dodgers 6 (29-24) - Cincinnati Reds 3 (22-28)

Los Angeles Angels 6 (29-22) - Seattle Mariners 4 (25-26)

Detroit Tigers 6 (29-19) - Oakland Athletics 5 (31-21)

San Francisco Giants 4 (33-19) - Chicago Cubs 0 (19-31)

Chicago White Sox 2 (27-27) - Cleveland Indians 1 (24-29)

Miami Marlins (27-25) @ Washington Nationals (25-26) (postponed due to inclement weather)Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Ibaka Returns, Thunder Victorious in Game 3

Ibaka Returns, Thunder Victorious in Game 3

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.

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Ibaka Upgraded to Day-to-Day for Thunder

Ibaka Upgraded to Day-to-Day for Thunder

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) -- The Oklahoma City Thunder may have gained a much needed boost prior to Game 3 of their Western Conference Finals with San Antonio. Power forward Serge Ibaka was upgraded to day-to-day and could play on Sunday night.

Ibaka was thought to be out for the rest of the playoffs with a left calf strain but has progressed well enough to potentially play. The Thunder trail the series, 2-0, in two very lopsided games against San Antonio.

"A big part of this is the swelling in his calf has reduced incredibly rapidly, more so than any of us could've expected or our medical staff could've projected," said Oklahoma City general manager, Sam Presti. "And as a result of that he's demonstrating a function level and a stability level that's better than where we thought we would be."

Even if he is unable to perform at 100%, the presence of Ibaka alone could play a significant role. The Spurs outscored Oklahoma City by a combined 52 points in the first two games of the series, shooting 78 percent from inside.

While Presti may be optimistic, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is still preparing to play without his top post defender.

"It's changed from we thought he was going to be out to now it's day-to-day, but he's still out," Brooks explained. "We're still focusing on trying to beat the Spurs without him playing, and that has not changed. I know he's listed as day-to-day, but he's still out until I'm told differently."

When in the lineup, Ibaka and the Thunder held San Antonio to 93.0 points per 100 possessions. Oklahoma City won all four meetings between the two teams in the regular season. He originally suffered the injury in the third quarter of the team's series clinching win over Los Angeles. Game 3 is Sunday night in Oklahoma.

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Spurs Crush Thunder 112-77 in Game Two

Spurs Crush Thunder 112-77 in Game Two

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.

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Spurs Rout Thunder to Open Western Conference Finals

Spurs Rout Thunder to Open Western Conference Finals

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.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 5/19/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/19/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Finals: New York Rangers 3 – Montreal Canadiens 1 (New York leads, 2-0)

NBA Playoffs - Western Conference Finals:  San Antonio Spurs 122 - Oklahoma City Thunder 105 (San Antonio Leads, 1-0)

MLB: Atlanta Braves 9 (24-19) – Milwaukee Brewers 3 (27-18)

Cleveland Indians 5 (20-25) - Detroit Tigers 4 (27-13)

Chicago White Sox 7 (22-24) - Kansas City Royals 6 (22-22)

Cincinnati Reds 4 (20-23) - Washington Nationals 3 (23-21) 15 Innings

Houston Astros 5 (17-28) - Los Angeles Angels 2 (24-20)

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Ibaka Likely Out for Playoffs

Ibaka Likely Out for Playoffs

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- On Thursday night, Serge Ibaka left Oklahoma City's Game Six win in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury. On Friday, team General Manager Sam Presti announced a Grade 2 strain of the plantaris muscle will most likely keep the power forward out for the remainder of the postseason.

"I just want to express our disappointment for Serge, who, as we all know, is an elite competitor and someone that has proven to be a tremendous teammate," Presti said. "He was playing great basketball throughout the season. He's had a huge impact on our season to date."

The calf injury will sideline Ibaka due to the amount of time it takes to heal as well as the high reinjury rate. Ibaka was averaging 12.2 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game during the playoffs, helping the Thunder reach the Western Conference finals. Even with the injury, Presti feels his team still has a chance against top-seed San Antonio in the West.

"We have had this group together for a while, and they've been through some ups and downs, and this is just another one that hopefully is only going to make us better," Presti noted in a conference call with reporters.

Oklahoma City won all four meetings with the Spurs in the regular season. Game One of the series will begin on Monday night in Texas.

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