Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Sports

Thunder, healthy Ibaka top Spurs

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Serge Ibaka scored 15 in his return from a strained left calf as the Thunder beat the Spurs 106-97 in Game 3 of the West final Sunday.

Russell Westbrook added 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Kevin Durant 25 points and 10 rebounds to cut San Antonio's series lead to 2-1.

"We bounced back," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "We always talk about that bounce-back ability, and we had that."

Last week, the Thunder said Ibaka likely would miss the rest of the playoffs. But it changed course Friday, and he participated in Sunday morning's shootaround without problems.

Ibaka, who also had seven rebounds and four blocks, pointed to the sky as he left the game to cheers with 3:17 left and the Thunder ahead by 20 points.

Manu Ginobili scored 23 for the Spurs. But San Antonio, which shot at least 50 percent in the first two games, shot just 40 percent.

"I was very disappointed that we didn't come out with more of a foot-on-the-neck sort of attitude," coach Gregg Popovich said. "They killed us on the boards. They beat us in 50-50 balls, and that's very disappointing to me."

Thunder 106, Spurs 97

SAN ANTONIO (97): Leonard 4-11 2-2 10, Duncan 7-17 2-2 16, Splitter 2-3 0-0 4, Parker 4-13 0-0 9, Green 3-12 0-0 8, Ginobili 8-13 1-1 23, Diaw 3-10 0-0 6, Baynes 1-2 3-4 5, Mills 1-3 0-0 3, Belinelli 1-2 4-4 6, Bonner 0-1 0-0 0, Joseph 1-2 3-3 5, Ayres 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 36-91 15-16 97.

OKLAHOMA CITY (106): Durant 8-19 8-8 25, Ibaka 6-7 3-4 15, Perkins 1-2 2-2 4, Westbrook 8-19 8-8 26, Jackson 6-13 2-2 15, Butler 2-6 0-0 5, Fisher 1-7 0-0 3, Adams 2-3 3-7 7, Lamb 3-5 0-0 6, Thabeet 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-81 26-31 106.

San Antonio 29 24 23 21— 97

Oklahoma City 28 29 26 23— 106

3-Point GoalsSan Antonio 10-26 (Ginobili 6-9, Green 2-6, Parker 1-1, Mills 1-3, Bonner 0-1, Leonard 0-3, Diaw 0-3), Oklahoma City 6-22 (Westbrook 2-6, Butler 1-2, Fisher 1-3, Durant 1-4, Jackson 1-6, Lamb 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsSan Antonio 48 (Duncan, Splitter 8), Oklahoma City 57 (Durant 10). AssistsSan Antonio 22 (Diaw 6), Oklahoma City 17 (Westbrook 7). Total FoulsSan Antonio 20, Oklahoma City 24. TechnicalsWestbrook. A18,203 (18,203).

James has new rival

MIAMI — In the 2011 Finals, LeBron James spent too much time for his liking talking about a purported rivalry with an excitable guard. That time, it was Dallas' DeShawn Stevenson. This time, the excitable guard is Indiana's Lance Stephenson.

James sees the parallels but isn't interested in stoking the fires, especially with the Heat up 2-1 heading into tonight's Game 4.

"Winning the game is more important," he said. "I understand what the main goal is."

Still, it seems fair to say Stephenson and James got each other going often in Game 3.

"I think it's a sign of weakness," Stephenson said. "He never used to say anything to me. I always used to be the one who said, 'I'm going to do something to get you mad.' Now he's trying to do it to me."

Coaching: Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger declined an offer for the same position with the Timberwolves, media reports said. Minnesota interviewed Joerger, who is from Staples, Minn., twice over three days last week in its search to replace retired Rick Adelman. … The Lakers will interview Lionel Hollins for their vacancy, Yahoo Sports reported. He led the Grizzlies to the West final last season, but his contract was not renewed.

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