Apr 24, 2011 1:46 AM by Lee Douglas
DENVER (AP) - Transforming from a shot-blocker into a shot-maker, Serge Ibaka tied his career high with 22 points and sparked the Oklahoma City Thunder's 97-94 win over the Denver
Nuggets on Saturday night that gave them a 3-0 lead in their best-of-7 playoff series.
Ibaka, a second-year pro from the Congo who led the league with 198 blocks during the regular season, gave the Thunder a third dimension on offense to go with All-Stars Kevin Durant (26 points) and Russell Westbrook (23).
Not even the return of Arron Afflalo (13 points) from a troublesome hamstring injury or bounce-back performances from J.R.Smith (15 points) and Chris "Birdman" Andersen (13) could keep the Nuggets from falling to 0-5 against Oklahoma City this month and inching closer to elimination.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)