Thunder notebook: No free ride for Thunder

NBA's leading free throw team struggles, gets beat 15-10 at the line by Cavs.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 9, 2012
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Oklahoma City leads the NBA in free-throw percentage (.799), is first in made free throws (22.2 per game) and second in free-throw attempts (27.7 per game), but all three categories were well below the mark Friday night.

The Thunder shot a season-low 58.8 percent from the line (10 for 17), helping Cleveland post a 96-90 upset at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Cavaliers outscored OKC 15-10 at the line.

OKC center Kendrick Perkins, who entered the game shooting a career-high 71.1 percent from the line, went 0 for 4.

IBAKA'S FURY

In a span of 52 seconds at the end of the second quarter, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka blocked four shots. Three of them came on the same possession.

In order, Ibaka rejected attempts by Antawn Jamison, back-to-back shots by Alonzo Gee and one by Kyrie Irving.

When scouting the Thunder, how quickly does Ibaka's name come up?

“To be honest with you, it doesn't come up that quickly, but it should,” Cleveland coach Byron Scott said. “You think about (Kevin) Durant so much and you think about (Russell) Westbrook so much, but the thing about this team is once you get by those guys, you've got to deal with the big guy down there. He (Ibaka) comes to block everything.

“He rebounds the ball at both ends of the floor. He's hitting that little 15-foot jump shot now on a very consistent basis. You don't give a whole lot of thought to him, but you should because he's playing great basketball.”

Ibaka finished with 13 points (6 for 8 from the field), seven rebounds and six blocked shots in 23 minutes.

PICTURE PERFECT

For the second straight game, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model was in attendance.

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