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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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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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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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