(Reuters) - The Oklahoma City Thunder, buoyed by the return of Serge Ibaka from injury, bounced back from two demoralizing losses to beat the San Antonio Spurs 106-97 in Game Three of the Western Conference finals on Sunday.
The Spurs lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 but the Thunder at least breathed life into their season, which was in danger of ending with a whimper.
Power forward Ibaka, who missed the first two games with a left calf strain, scored 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor in nearly 30 minutes of action.
The Thunder, who lost the first two games of the series by a combined 52 points in San Antonio, looked like a different team as they played with energy and more than a touch of skill in front of a raucous home crowd.
Oklahoma started the final quarter with a decisive 7-0 run to take a 14-point lead, and the Thunder were never in danger from that point as San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich rested most of his starters over the final few minutes.
Guard Manu Ginobili led the Spurs with 23 points, but scored only three in the second half.
Game Four will be in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)