Ibaka vital on both ends as Thunder cut lead in half.
The Oklahoma City Thunder got back into the series against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night with a win in Game 3 as Serge Ibaka returned to action.
While the Spurs had dominated the opening two games with the Spaniard sidelined with a calf injury, he was able to return despite the Thunder ruling him out for the remainder of the post-season.
Ibaka scored 15 points to provide some relief for Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant while he also brought energy and his usual commanding presence on the defensive end with blocks and rebounds to help the Thunder dominate the boards.
Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks withdrew him from the game with around three minutes remaining with the Thunder up by 20, with Ibaka receiving a standing ovation from the home crowd for a big performance when his team needed it.
Manu Ginobili scored 23 points for the visitors while Tim Duncan added 16 points and eight rebounds, but with Reggie Jackson being promoted to the starting line-up to replace Thabo Sefolosha, it was a big night for the Thunder as the momentum threatens to switch sides.
It remains to be seen whether or not San Antonio can bounce back and win Game 4 in Oklahoma City which would ultimately allow them to close out the series at home in Game 5, but coach Gregg Popovich was not happy with the energy and urgency displayed by his men and wants more next time out.
San Antonio Spurs 97-106 Oklahoma City Thunder