The Oklahoma City Thunder were clearly a different and much better team with forward Serge Ibaka back in the lineup.
Ibaka made his presence felt immediately in the Thunder’s 106-97 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
Ibaka hit his first five shots and finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots.
Ibaka’s Thunder teammates and coaches were not surprised by either his ability to come back so soon from a strained calf injury that was expected to keep him out for the rest of the playoffs, or that he could play so well when needed in Game 3 with OKC trailing in the series, two games to none.
Game 4 is Tuesday night at Chesapeake Arena at 8:00.
Thunder players and head coach Scott Brooks talked about Ibaka’s play after practice on Monday.
The video has comments from head coach Scott Brooks, guards Reggie Jackson and Caron Butler, and Ibaka.