Serge Ibaka scored 15 points in a dramatic return from what was thought to be a season-ending left calf strain to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs, 106-97, on Sunday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
Russell Westbrook had 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Kevin Durant contributed 25 points and 10 rebounds to help the Thunder cut the Spurs' lead in the series to 2-1.
Ibaka started after missing the first two games of the series. The Thunder had said he likely would miss the rest of the playoffs, but the team changed course Friday.
Manu Ginobili scored 23 points and Tim Duncan finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs.
Ibaka, who also had seven rebounds and four blocked shots, pointed to the sky as he left the game to cheers with 3 minutes 17 seconds remaining and the Thunder ahead by 20 points.
San Antonio won the first two games by a combined 52 points, but things were different from the start with Ibaka's return. Thunder Coach Scott Brooks also inserted speedy Reggie Jackson into the starting lineup in Thabo Sefolosha's place.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times