Spurs guard Manu Ginobili was interviewed by NBA TV about the impact of Serge Ibaka’s return in Game 3.
Ibaka was critical in getting the Thunder back into the series, posting 15 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 30 minutes. Ginobili wasn’t bad for the Spurs either, leading the way with 23 points and six 3-pointers.
Ginobili said Ibaka’s return got the Thunder going.
“I think that it helped them more than it hurt us because they were fired up,” Ginobili said. “They were already fired up because they knew that they had to win this game, but as soon as he came in he made the first three jumpers and a block. They got them going. He got them going.
“With Ibaka they had something they didn’t have in the first two games: a big that could nail the 18-footer. For sure it helped them, but I think the biggest thing in the game was the difference in intensity on loose balls, rebounds, stuff like that.
“It felt like they wanted it more.”