The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 12, 2014

Thunder pluck Pelicans

NORMAN — OKLAHOMA CITY -- Playing with the likes of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, it would be hard to get any recognition. That has been the plight of Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka over the last few years.

However, there are those night’s when Ibaka’s performance even outshines his all-star teammates. That was the case Friday in the Thunder’s 116-94 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Ibaka racked up 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots in only 30 minutes of action.

“When you have a 7-foot guy who can jump and run back on defense on the fast break, it’s hard to get to the basket,” Pelican’s guard Austin Rivers said of Ibaka. “There defense is all on him. Without Ibaka, this is a whole different team.”

The Thunder (58-21) now need one more win or a loss by the Los Angeles Clippers to clinch the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They can wrap it up Sunday when they face the struggling Indiana Pacers on the road. San Antonio has locked up the top-seed.

Durant scored 27 points and shot 10-of-18 to go with six rebounds and five assists. Westbrook added 24 points and seven assists. It was the second game in a row the team had all its starters back in the lineup.

“It feels good,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Every coach in this league wants to have all their players healthy. It gives yourself the best chance to win. It’s nice to have everybody back. I thought Perk (Kendrick Perkins) and Thabo (Sefolosha) have done a great job.”

Rivers and Darius Miller led the Pelicans (32-47) with 18 points each. Forward Tyreke Evans scored 13 before leaving with an injury in the second half. Alexis Ajinca added 12 points and newly acquired forward James Southerland scored 10 in his debut.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cody adds former champions Maple, Howe as assistants

    A great wrestler doesn’t necessarily make a great wrestling coach. On the other hand, it’s not a bad place to start....

    July 30, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014

  • Romo skips full-pad session for the first time at camp

    OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are taking it easy with Tony Romo’s back....

    July 30, 2014

  • Vikings hire help for Kluwe talks

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired the attorney who investigated the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal and another who played a prominent role in the fight for marriage equality to help in settlement talks with former punter ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cards’ Abraham charged with DUI

    ATLANTA — Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area. Abraham has been absent from the team’s training camp since Friday....

    July 30, 2014

Facebook