Thunder rookie Serge Ibaka last week unveiled a signature move he calls "Air Congo” following an emphatic dunk in Toronto. Holding his arms out like an airplane, Ibaka displayed the "Air Congo” move again Monday night following a dunk. He also blocked Tim Duncan’s shot with 8.8 seconds left that gave the Thunder a chance to rally for a win. Both plays made ESPN’s highlights. Duncan has played in 965 career NBA games, 1,112 if you include the playoffs. Monday’s game was Ibaka’s 60th. Playing the entire fourth quarter, the Congo native played well against the Spurs future Hall of Famer. "Serge was terrific,” said coach Scott Brooks. "That’s one of the hardest players he will guard the next 15 years in this league even after Duncan is long gone, retired. He’s a special player, one of the best ever... and Serge did a great job battling him.” The past month Ibaka has averaged 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds. "Every game he’s learning something new,” said Thabo Sefolosha. "He’s playing with more and more confidence.” As for "Air Congo,” Ibaka explained: "When you dunk you fly,” Ibaka said. "I’m having fun here. And it’s fun for the fans.”
Durant scoring leaderBy scoring 45 points Monday night against the Spurs, Kevin Durant passed LeBron James as the league’s leading scorer. Both are averaging 29.7 points. Both have played 69 games. Durant has scored 2,052 points, James 2,048.
Scouting HoustonThe Rockets lead the season series 3-0 but the two teams haven’t played in more than three months. A lot has changed. Houston traded Carl Landry, a Thunder killer, to Sacramento for guard Kevin Martin. The Rockets, who have won 13 consecutive games against the Thunder/Sonics dating back to 2006, also acquired Jarred Jeffries from the Knicks while the Thunder traded for backup point guard Eric Maynor. Houston will be playing without Shane Battier (sprained knee). "It will be a different game,” said Thunder forward Nick Collison. "That being said, it will be another hard fought game. (Luis) Scola has had great games against us and Kevin Martin has given us problems in the past. They’re fighting for a playoff spot, too.”
Harden updateJames Harden has been sidelined the past two weeks by a strained hamstring. The original estimate is the Thunder’s rookie shooting guard would be out two to four weeks. "James is staying in the best shape he can,” Brooks said. "I like what he’s doing. I don’t know when (he’ll return) but he’s getting closer.”