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Thunder notebook: Serge Ibaka's numbers ‘serging' on defense

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: April 28, 2011
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/articleid/3562912/1/pictures/1404486">Photo - Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) reacts after the Thunder defeated Denver following the NBA basketball game between the Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the NBA playoffs at the Oklahoma City Arena, Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka (9) reacts after the Thunder defeated Denver following the NBA basketball game between the Denver Nuggets and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the NBA playoffs at the Oklahoma City Arena, Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

In the last six seasons, the Nuggets have been eliminated by the eventual world champions three times and once by the Western Conference champ. Obviously, it remains to be seen where the Thunder will finish.

GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT

Karl made some controversial observations about the Thunder throughout the series, including calling the team and its head coach "cocky."

Thunder coach Scott Brooks served as an assistant under Karl in Denver for 2½ seasons. They met at mid-court after the series finale, said a few words and hugged.

Karl was gracious in what had to be a difficult post-game interview session.

"I want to congratulate Scotty and Oklahoma City," Karl said. "I will be a fan of theirs as I watch them play in the future."

TOSSUP SERIES

Though the Thunder won the series 4-1, the matchup essentially was a tossup, which is often the case between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds.

Other than OKC's 106-89 domination in Game 2, the average margin of victory was 3.25 points in the other four games.

"Tough loss for us," Karl said of the 100-97 eliminator in Game 5. "We did not close out this game. We did not close out Game 1. They will both be tough to swallow right now. But we will, somewhere in the next week or so, wake up and realize that we had one hell of a season."

Awaiting this year's Orlando-Atlanta result, the No. 4 seed owns a 28-27 series advantage under the current playoff format that began in 1984.

BRIEFLY

As of Thursday, two-time NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant also was the leading scorer in the playoffs at 32.4 points. … No more games will be telecast on Fox Sports Oklahoma. All remaining Thunder games will be on ABC, ESPN or TNT. … After a 9-6 regular season that included a 7-0 start, the Thunder is now 13-7 in national television appearances.

QUOTABLE

"One thing that I can credit since I got here is the fans have been great. I'm just happy to be a part of this organization and happy that we can move on. I don't want to be a party-pooper or nothin', we'll enjoy tonight, but tomorrow we'll move on." – Thunder center Kendrick Perkins


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