Ibaka receives standing ovation as Thunder win
After missing the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, Serge Ibaka returned on Sunday night to help the Oklahoma City Thunder seal a much-needed 106-97 triumph, keeping their playoffs hope alive.
Ibaka was 6 for 7 from the field, made 3 of his 4 free-throws, blocked four shots, grabbed 7 rebounds en route to 15 points after spending 29.36 minutes running up and down the court.
Midway the third quarter, Ibaka limped for a while, but gestured to Thunder coach Scott Brooks that he was OK to continue.
In the end, the Congolese-born was the difference maker that Oklahoma City needed, as he provided the energy on both ends of the court.
As walked off the floor with 3 minutes remaining and the Thunder were up 20 points, he received a standing ovation from the Chesapeake Energy arena sellout crowd.
Kevin Durant, who finished with 25 points for Oklahoma City said that having Ibaka back was a plus for them: â€œI gained so much more respect for Serge to put his body out there, and sacrifice his health for the better of the team,â€ Durant said.
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