In Game 1 of the Thunder-Maverick series Saturday night, Thunder forward Serge Ibaka played one of the best games of his three-year career. Ibaka had 22 points, six rebounds, five blocked shots and made nine of 12 shots.
Was Saturday night one of the best games you've ever played?
Ibaka: “Every time when you play a good game, and your team win, it's always a great game.”
Were you upset with Kevin, for making that last shot, because you were ready to tip in the game-winner and be the hero?
Ibaka: “Yeah, but he did. He make a great shot. It was great for us. But I was ready, too, I was down, ready for the offense rebound. Good thing he make it.”
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said the refs let you do too much grabbing and holding of Dirk Nowitzki. Are you guilty as charged?
Ibaka: “I no worry about. Me or my teammate, we don't worry about the ref or the foul. We just try to play basketball and play hard. We know it's playoff basketball. Maybe next game, we get some foul. Can't be worrying about they give us foul or we give them foul. I know it's hard to play defense on Dirk, but we did great. All the other big, me, Perk, Nick, Naz.”
How nice was it for you to be so involved offensively the last two minutes?
Ibaka: “Just focus. Just be ready. I know it's playoff. I know other team, they know our best scoring is Kevin and Russ and James. Just be ready to make the big step.”
How has your defense on Dirk improved so fast?
Ibaka: “First of all, he's a great player. He's one of the top guys to play defense (against). You need to be focused. Just be focus. Just play your game. Most of the time, he's so great on offense, you can get in foul trouble. Also, it's not just one guy. It's a team. He's tough. I want to try to make him drive to the basket, because I know Perk will be down to help me. It's not just one guy. It's about team.”