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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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Scoreboard Roundup – 5/21/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/21/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – Western Conference Finals: Los Angeles Kings 6 – Chicago Blackhawks 2 (Series tied 1-1)

NBA Playoffs - Western Conference Finals:  San Antonio Spurs 112 - Oklahoma City Thunder 77 (San Antonio leads, 2-0)

MLB: Cleveland Indians 11 (22-25) – Detroit Tigers 10 (27-15) 13 Innings

Texas Rangers 4 (22-24) – Seattle Mariners 3 (22-23)

New York Yankees 4 (24-21) – Chicago Cubs 2 (16-28) 13 Innings

Cincinnati Reds 2 (21-24) – Washington Nationals 1 (24-22)

Pittsburgh Pirates 9 (19-26) – Baltimore Orioles 8 (23-21)

Los Angeles Dodgers 4 (25-22) – New York Mets 3 (20-25)

Milwaukee Brewers 6 (28-19) – Atlanta Braves 1 (25-20)

Oakland Athletics 3 (30-16) – Tampa Bay Rays 2 (19-28)

Miami Marlins 14 (24-23) – Philadelphia Phillies 5 (20-23)

Minnesota Twins 2 (23-21) - San Diego Padres 0 (21-26)

St. Louis Cardinals 3 (25-21) - Arizona Diamondbacks 2 (18-30) 12 Innings

San Francisco Giants 5 (29-18) - Colorado Rockies 1 (26-21)

Toronto Blue Jays 6 (25-22) – Boston Red Sox 4 (20-25)

Kansas City Royals 3 (23-23) – Chicago White Sox 1 (23-25)

Los Angeles Angels 2 (26-20) - Houston Astros 1 (17-30)

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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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Trail Blazers Extend Head Coach Terry Stotts

Trail Blazers Extend Head Coach Terry Stotts

Christopher Trotman/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) --  The Portland Trail Blazers announced that they have signed head coach Terry Stotts to a multiyear contract extension.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Stotts led the Trail Blazers to a 54-28 record this past season.  The team made the playoffs for the first time since 2011, but they fell to the San Antonio Spurs in five games in the Western Conference semifinals.

"Terry has done an outstanding job during his first two years with the organization," general manager Neil Olshey said in a statement. "This extension illustrates our confidence in him as our head coach as well as the Portland Trail Blazers' continued commitment to building a model of consistency and stability."

In two seasons with the Blazers, Stotts has posted an 87-77 record.  He was also an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks for four seasons prior to arriving in Portland, helping the Mavericks win the NBA title in 2011.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 5/14/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/14/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat 96 - Brooklyn Nets 94 (Heat win series, 4-1)

San Antonio Spurs 104 - Portland Trail Blazers 82 (Spurs win series 4-1)

NHL Playoffs: Montreal Canadiens 3 - Boston Bruins 1 (Canadiens win series, 4-3)

Los Angeles Kings 2 - Anaheim Ducks 1 (Series Tied 3-3)

MLB: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3 (21-18) - Philadelphia Phillies 0 (17-21)

Detroit Tigers 7 (24-12) - Baltimore Orioles 5 (20-18)

Kansas City Royals 3 (20-19) - Colorado Rockies 2 (23-19)

Washington Nationals 5 (21-19) - Arizona Diamondbacks 1 (16-27)

Chicago White Sox 4 (20-22) - Oakland Athletics 2 (25-16)

San Francisco Giants 10 (26-15) - Atlanta Braves 4 (22-17)

Tampa Bay Rays 2 (18-23) - Seattle Mariners 0 (20-20)

New York Yankees 4 (20-19) - New York Mets 0 (19-20)

Houston Astros 5 (14-27) - Texas Rangers 4 (20-21)

Boston Red Sox 9 (20-19) - Minnesota Twins 4 (18-20)

Pittsburgh Pirates 4 (17-22) - Milwaukee Brewers 1 (23-15)

Cleveland Indians 15 (19-21) - Toronto Blue Jays 4 (20-21)

Miami Marlins 13 (21-20) - Los Angeles Dodgers 3 (22-20)

Chicago Cubs (13-25) at St. Louis Cardinals (20-20) Postponed due to inclement weather

San Diego Padres (19-21) at Cincinnati Reds (17-20) Postponed due to inclement weather

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Scoreboard Roundup – 5/12/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/12/14

Getty Images/Hemera (NEW YORK) -- NBA Playoffs – Eastern Conference Semifinals: Miami Heat 102 – Brooklyn Nets 96 (Heat lead series, 3-1)

Western Conference Semifinals: Portland Trail Blazers 103 - San Antonio Spurs 92 (Spurs lead series, 3-1)

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conference Second Round: Montreal Canadiens 4 – Boston Bruins 0 (Series tied 3-3)

Western Conference Second Round: Anaheim Ducks 3 - Los Angeles Kings 2 (Ducks lead series, 3-2)

MLB: Detroit Tigers 4 (22-12) – Baltimore Orioles 1 (20-16)

New York Mets 9 (18-19) – New York Yankees 7 (19-18)

Toronto Blue Jays 7 (19-20) – Los Angeles Angels 3 (19-18)

Chicago Cubs 17 (13-24) - St. Louis Cardinals 5 (19-20)

Texas Rangers 4 (20-19) - Houston Astros 0 (12-27)

Seattle Mariners 12 (20-18) - Tampa Bay Rays 5 (16-23)

Oakland Athletics 5 (24-15) - Chicago White Sox 4 (19-21)

San Francisco Giants 4 (25-14) - Atlanta Braves 2 (21-16)

Washington Nationals 6 (20-18) - Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (15-26)

Los Angeles Dodgers 6 (21-19) - Miami Marlins 5 (20-19)

 

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Spurs Take Commanding 3-0 Series Lead Over Blazers

Spurs Take Commanding 3-0 Series Lead Over BlazersSteve Dykes/Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Tony Parker scored a game-high 29 points and dished out six assists to help the San Antonio Spurs punish the Portland Trail Blazers 118-103 Saturday, and take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal. P...

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/10/14Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) -- NHL Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Boston Bruins 4 - Montreal Canadiesn 2 (Bruins lead series, 3-2)  NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Brooklyn Nets 104 - Miami Heat 90 (Heat lead series, 2-1) ...

Spurs’ R.C. Buford Named NBA’s Executive of the Year

Spurs’ R.C. Buford Named NBA’s Executive of the YearDoug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After once again constructing one of the best teams in the NBA, San Antonio Spurs general manager R.C. Buford has been named the league's Executive of the Year. After making the NBA Finals last season, the Spurs...

Parker’s 33 Points Lead Spurs over Blazers in Game 1

Parker’s 33 Points Lead Spurs over Blazers in Game 1Chris Covatta/Getty Images(SAN ANTONIO) -- Experience usually trumps youth during the NBA postseason, and the San Antonio Spurs are a prime example of that. Tony Parker scored 33 points and dished out nine assists as the Spurs rocked the Portland Trail...

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/6/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 5/6/14Getty Images/Hemera(NEW YORK) -- NBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals: Miami Heat 107 – Brooklyn Nets 86 (Miami leads, 1-0) San Antonio Spurs 116 - Portland Trail Blazers 92 (San Antonio leads, 1-0) NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – Eastern Conferen...

Scoreboard Roundup 5/4/14

Scoreboard Roundup 5/4/14Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA Playoffs: Brooklyn Nets 104 - Toronto Raptors 103 (Nets Win Series, 4-3) San Antonio Spurs 119 - Dallas Mavericks 96 (Spurs Win Series, 4-3) NHL Playoffs: Chicago Blackhawks 4 - Minnesota Wild 1 (Chicago Leads ...

Ellis Leads Mavericks Past Spurs, Force Game 7

Ellis Leads Mavericks Past Spurs, Force Game 7Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Monta Ellis scored 12 of his game-high 29 points in the final five minutes of the game to push the Dallas Mavericks past the San Antonio Spurs 113-111 Friday night, forcing a Game 7 in their first-round playoff s...

Scoreboard Roundup – 4/30/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 4/30/14Getty Images/Hemera (NEW YORK) -- NHL Stanley Cup First Round Playoffs: New York Rangers 2 – Philadelphia Flyers 1 (Rangers win series, 4-3) Minnesota Wild 5 - Colorado Avalanche 4 OT (Wild win series, 4-3) Los Angeles Kings 5 - San Jose Sharks 1...

Scoreboard Roundup 4-28-14

Scoreboard Roundup 4-28-14Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA Playoffs: Miami Heat 109 - Charlotte Bobcats 98 (Heat win series, 4-0) Atlanta Hawks 107 - Indiana Pacers 97 (Hawks lead series, 3-2) San Antonio Spurs 93 - Dallas Mavericks 89 (Series tied, 2-2) NHL Playoffs: Pengu...

Carter’s Buzzer-Beater Lifts Mavericks to Victory

Carter’s Buzzer-Beater Lifts Mavericks to VictoryTom Pennington/Getty Images(DALLAS) --  Half-man, half-amazing.  Vince Carter hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer as time expired to give the Dallas Mavericks a 109-108 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of their Western Conference first...

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