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OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka power Thunder past Spurs to tie series

Serge Ibaka scored a playoff career-high 26 points to help the Thunder even the Western Conference Finals at two games apiece with a 109-103 win in Game 4.
By Darnell Mayberry Published: June 2, 2012

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich thought Serge Ibaka's defense was the biggest problem the Spurs had in Game 3.

On Saturday, Popovich and the Spurs saw how much of a headache the Thunder can be when Ibaka has a hot hand at the other end.

Ibaka scored a playoff career-high 26 points to help the Thunder even the Western Conference Finals at two games apiece with a 109-103 win in Game 4 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Ibaka finished 11-for-11 from the floor.

The NBA record for the most shots made without a miss in a playoff game is 12-for-12, set by Larry McNeill in 1975. Scott Wedman is the only other player in NBA history to go 11-for-11. He did it in 1985.

“That's a pretty big effect,” a still astonished Popovich said. “All the (Thunder's) bigs really scored tonight. Obviously, you put most of your attention on the big three there and try to do a great job on them first. But the bigs came through tonight and were outstanding.”

The Thunder's big man trio of Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison combined to shoot 22-for-25. Perkins was 7-for-9. Collison was 4-for-5.

“If you did a shooting drill with nobody guarding you, I don't think you could do that,” Popovich said.

Ibaka scored just two points in the first quarter, laying in a feed from point guard Russell Westbrook. Ibaka, the league's leading shot blocker, started rolling in quarter two.

The first two minutes of the second period became the tell-all sign that Ibaka would be in for a big night. He hit 18-footers on two of the Thunder's first four possessions. Previously in this series, Ibaka had struggled to knock down that shot, which had improved so much in his third season.

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