Ibaka's Big Second Half Keys Thunder Romp Over Portland

Sunday, March 24th 2013, 9:28 pm
By: News 9

Serge Ibaka had a pretty forgetful first half against the Portland Trailblazers Sunday night. The only indication he played at all in the first two quarters were the three fouls he accumulated in just seven minutes and 20 seconds of playing time.

No points, no shots, no rebounds, no blocks.

The second half was a different story for Ibaka and the Thunder as a team. Ibaka hit 7-of-9 shots, scoring 16 points and blocked five shots to help Oklahoma City roll past Portland, 103-83.

Ibaka's inspiring play helped the Thunder finish off a pesky Portland team, which had taken a 59-56 lead with 6:56 remaining in the third quarter. A 10-3 run at the end of the third gave Oklahoma City a bit of distance, but it was a dominating fourth quarter that pushed OKC over the edge.

The Thunder opened up an 86-75 lead with 7:28 remaining on two driving Reggie Jackson layups before 3-pointers from Damian Lillard and Eric Maynor cut the deficit to five points. Sunday was Maynor's first time back in Oklahoma City since being traded to Portland at the end of February.

However, it was Oklahoma City that had the final say, scoring the last 15 points of the game to run away with the victory.

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds to lead the Thunder while Russell Westbrook scored 21 points.

Kevin Martin paced the bench with 11 points and Nick Collison scored 10 points. As a unit, the bench ended the game with 34 points.

Lillard led the Trailblazers with 19 points. Nicolas Batum scored 13 points and J.J. Hickson scored 12 points.

The Trailblazers punished the Thunder inside early, with Hickson and LaMarcus Aldridge scoring the first 10 points for Portland. Oklahoma City responded to an early 10-6 deficit by rattling off a 13-0 run capped by a Westbrook dunk off a sensational pass from Jackson.

Portland rallied and stayed within striking distance and took a 47-45 lead at halftime thanks to a buzzer-beating jumper from Hickson.

Oklahoma City will be back in action Wednesday at home against the Wizards.

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