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OKC Thunder: How Serge Ibaka's block set the tone for a Game 3 rout

COMMENTARY — There were many reasons for Oklahoma City's 95-79 rout in Game 3. None were bigger than the play of its big men.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 4, 2012

“Defensively, we did about as well as we could possibly do,” Brooks said. “We've always said, our bigs are our unsung heroes. They come in every night and do their job.”

The Mavericks shot just 34.2 percent from the field. Nowitzki, alternately guarded by Perk, Ibaka or their partner, Nick Collison, made just six of 15 shots. Shawn Marion, who had several shots in the paint, went 1-for-8.

Brooks was so pleased with Perkins' play, Gran Torino played more minutes 21:02 than even Durant (20:46) or Westbrook (19:26).

Perkins finished with nine rebounds. His plus/minus was plus-21 – the Thunder outscored Dallas by 21 points when Perk was on the floor.

Meanwhile, Ibaka had 10 points and 11 rebounds and the block of the year.

“That was a big block,” Brooks said. “Serge, he's the best in the league. He has to do that every game for us.”

Durant credited James Harden for setting up Terry on the big play. Harden trailed Terry but made him hear footsteps.

“That was a great block,” Durant said. “Great play by Serge. He's been doing that all year. James kind of set Terry up for it. Made a great play. Nothing new to us. Serge does that all the time.”

Ibaka did it Thursday night, and now the Thunder is ready for the second round.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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