Toronto Raptors’ Serge Ibaka plays vs. Boston Celtics despite ankle sprain

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Despite his sprained left ankle, Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka played in Wednesday night’s double-overtime victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Ibaka came off the bench and played 21 minutes, contributing 13 points, three rebounds and three blocks as the Raptors won 125-122 to even the series at 3-3.

Ibaka was in a walking boot while he addressed the media on Tuesday.

Coach Nick Nurse said pregame that Ibaka was “OK” and that there wouldn’t be any limitations on him.

Ibaka, who has not started any games for the Raptors in this playoffs but serves as a key figure off the bench, is averaging 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game against Boston this series while shooting 49.7% overall and 49.4% from 3-point range. He also had three 20-point games in the Raptors’ first-round sweep against the Brooklyn Nets.

On Tuesday, Raptors guard Fred VanVleet said he was confident that Ibaka was going to play because of how well Ibaka takes care of himself.

“Obviously we need him out there,” VanVleet said on Tuesday afternoon. “I haven’t spoken to him about how he’s feeling or anything, but just knowing him personally, I would be surprised if he wasn’t out there. Serge is probably the best I’ve ever seen at taking care of his body and recovering and following his routine. Hopefully he can get back feeling good today and be ready for us tomorrow.”