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Serge Ibaka's numbers as impressive, if not more, than Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook

The Thunder's ‘Serge Protector' set franchise record with 11 blocked shots. Ibaka also had 14 points and 15 rebounds.
BY DARNELL MAYBERRY Published: February 19, 2012
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Ibaka recorded eight of his 11 blocked shots in the second half and overtime. But he earned his triple double in regulation, rejecting his 10th shot, a layup by Ty Lawson, with 2:32 to play in the fourth quarter.

All told, Ibaka blocked at least one shot of six Nuggets players. He got Afflalo, Corey Brewer and Andre Miller twice apiece and lightening quick point guard Ty Lawson three times.

“Serge cleaned up a lot of our mistakes,” said Brooks. “That's what he does…Serge is protecting the basket as well as I've seen. To have three games of double-digit blocked shots…It's pretty impressive. He has a desire to help his teammates out, and that's what he does. He has great instincts.”

After leading the league in total blocks last season, Ibaka bumped his league-leading shot-blocking average this year to 3.29.

“Our coach, Mark Bryant, is a good coach, but he ain't teaching any of that,” Brooks joked.

How rare is Ibaka's double digit shot-blocking? Before Ibaka pulled the feat this season, it was done only 12 times in the past 10 years. Marcus Camby was the only player to do it twice. The others were JaVale McGee, Ben Wallace, Jermaine O'Neal, Dikembe Mutombo, Calvin Booth, Amar'e Stoudemire, Josh Smith, Andrei Kirilenko, Emeka Okafor and Dwight Howard.

Pretty impressive company.

“You're not going to be able to score on us,” said James Harden of Ibaka when he protects the paint like he has this month. “With our length, if you get past our guards you got to run into him, and he's already at the rim about to block your shot ... it's very tough.”


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