NBA

Sat, Nov 16, 2013 - 8:30 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Ibaka leads Thunder past Bucks

Serge Ibaka
Serge Ibaka (9) tied a career high with 20 rebounds to go with 15 points Saturday.
Share This Story

   
 

MILWAUKEE (AP)

Jolted by a two-game losing streak, the Oklahoma City Thunder turned to Serge Ibaka and their defense to stop the slide.

Ibaka equaled a career high with 20 rebounds, adding four blocked shots and 15 points as the Thunder smothered the Milwaukee Bucks' offense in a 92-79 victory Saturday night.

''Serge's performance was outstanding, the way he was blocking and altering shots and his rebounds,'' Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. ''His 15 and 20 was one of his best games. He's standing out as a guy that can get 10 rebounds a night and he's been pretty consistent. That's what makes you a very good pro, that consistency.''

Russell Westbrook scored 26 points and Kevin Durant added 24 for the Thunder, who were coming off back-to-back road losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors.

O.J. Mayo scored 22 points for the Bucks, losers of five straight who continue to play short-handed because of injuries.

Milwaukee played good enough defense to keep it close, but had too many offensive lulls. The Bucks shot 22.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

''We didn't make shots, but defensively, we were really good,'' Durant said. ''They hit some 3s, which they do, but we contested them all night. Overall, defensively we played well.''

Bucks coach Larry Drew says his team gets into trouble when it stops moving the ball on offense - lapses that allowed the Thunder's defense to pounce.

''When you play against a team like OKC, (when) you keep the ball on one side of the floor, they load up that side of the floor,'' Drew said. ''You become very easy to guard, because they do such a good job in their rotations. It's very obvious. When we hit those bad spells, that basketball stops moving and it doesn't jump around.''

At least some of that credit goes to Ibaka.

''He's a physical player,'' Bucks forward Ekpe Udoh said. ''He's athletic, gets off his feet. . He's talented. Hit a couple of shots on me.''

The Thunder also welcomed back center Kendrick Perkins, who was away from the team for two games following his grandfather's death. Before the game, Brooks emphasized Perkins' critical role on defense - particularly on pick-and-rolls.

Oklahoma City took control with an 11-4 run to end the third quarter - playing with reserves for much of that stretch - and led 72-65 going into the fourth.

Milwaukee was held scoreless for more than four minutes to start the fourth, but went on a quick 8-0 run, cutting the lead to 77-73 on a 3-pointer by Mayo with 6:10 remaining.

But Westbrook hit a jumper, Ibaka swatted away a putback attempt by Udoh, and Ibaka hit a shot on the other end to give the Thunder an 81-73 lead with 4:28 left.

The Bucks continue to struggle with injuries - although they weren't as short-handed on Saturday as they were in a loss at Orlando on Wednesday, when they had only eight healthy players.

''We know Milwaukee is banged up right now, but we wanted to come in and play a solid defensive game and I thought we did,'' Brooks said. ''We made them take tough shots. We did a good job defensively.''

Mayo sees better things coming for the Bucks when they get healthy.

''We'll be a lot better for sure,'' he said. ''Heck yeah, man. As we get more and more healthy, more of the seasoned guys back in, it'll strengthen our first unit.''

Milwaukee went into halftime with the score tied at 40, holding Oklahoma City to 31.3 percent shooting from the floor in the first half.

Bucks rookie Giannis Antetokounmpo provided several highlights in the first half for Milwaukee, including a flying dunk on an alley-oop from Luke Ridnour, two blocked shots and a handful of other deflections.

NOTES: Drew said he does not have a timeline for the return of forward Ersan Ilyasova, who continues to sit out with a sore right ankle. ... Drew was optimistic that Caron Butler (left shoulder) and Brandon Knight (right hamstring) would return soon. ... Durant recovered from a cold start, shooting 3 for 10 from the floor in the first half.

Tagged: Bucks, Thunder, Kevin Durant, O.J. Mayo, Serge Ibaka

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NBA Videos

NBA considering mid-season Vegas tournament? Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Adam Silver confirms the NBA has engaged in early conversations about the possib...

LeBron and Blatt 'will work together beautifully' Posted: Jul 14, 2014
Cavaliers head coach David Blatt on LeBron James' decision to return to Clevelan...

LeBron's back and so are the Cavs Posted: Jul 11, 2014
FOX Sports 1's Gary Payton weighs-in on LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Clippers/browse/featuredproduct/491845/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_491000/ff_491845_xl.jpg&w=100 59.95 adidas Blake Griffin Los Angeles Clippers Revolution 30 Performance Jersey - Red
    adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/498609/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_498000/ff_498609_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas LeBron James Miami Heat Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey-Black
    adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Knicks/browse/featuredproduct/620470/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_620000/ff_620470_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 adidas Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks Revolution 30 Swingman Performance Jersey..
    Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Antonio_Spurs/browse/featuredproduct/692239/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_692000/ff_692239_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Mitchell & Ness San Antonio Spurs Black Solid Script Snapback Adjustable Hat
    Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Los_Angeles_Lakers/browse/featuredproduct/851828/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851828_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Logo Man T-Shirt - Black
    Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/851842/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_851000/ff_851842_xl.jpg&w=100 23.95 Majestic Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder Logo Man T-Shirt - White
    adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Heat/browse/featuredproduct/890174/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890174_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 adidas Miami Heat 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Wh..
    adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room Flex Hat - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_City_Thunder/browse/featuredproduct/890384/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_890000/ff_890384_xl.jpg&w=100 19.99 adidas Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Western Conference Champions Locker Room F..