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OKC Thunder notebook: Dwight Howard claims Serge Ibaka a 'clear-cut' choice

Lakers center said Ibaka should have won NBA Defensive Player of the Year award
BY JOHN ROHDE, RYAN ABER, ANTHONY SLATER Published: April 24, 2013

/articleid/3803093/1/pictures/2035579">Photo - Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) keeps the ball away from Houston's James Harden (13) during Game 2 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) keeps the ball away from Houston's James Harden (13) during Game 2 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

“It was fine as I was sitting here at halftime. I tried to run out of the tunnel and couldn't really run. When I did, it would go crazy. We're supposed to just see what happens tomorrow (Thursday), how it feels tomorrow. As long as stuff stops spasming, I'm good. I don't know how any of this stuff works.”

FOUL TROUBLE

Thunder point guards had a rough go against the Rockets' small lineup.

Russell Westbrook picked up two fouls midway through the first quarter, then backup Reggie Jackson quickly picked up two of his own in less than four minutes on the court.

Instead of going deeper into the bench or risking Westbrook, Brooks kept Jackson on the floor. He responded with two 3-pointers in the last 1:23 of the period.

TIP-INS

Alternating sections of blue and white T-shirts were left at each seat in Game 2 at The Peake. … Seated side-by-side were former Oklahoma running back Joe Washington, OU football coach Barry Switzer and former Oklahoma State basketball coaches Eddie Sutton and Sean Sutton. “I keep good company,” Switzer tweeted. … The Thunder and Rockets combined for 70 3-point attempts Wednesday with 35 attempts each. That's 10 more than any other playoff series so far.

QUOTABLE

Houston coach Kevin McHale, who refused to reveal his starting lineup during his pre-game interview session: “You never know. I don't think I'm under any obligation to tell you guys the truth, am I? I very seldom do to begin with.”


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