Doncic’s 32 Points Lead Mavs To 146-111 Win Over Thunder

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic dazzled with 32 points as the Dallas Mavericks cruised to a 146-111 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder during Saturday’s NBA action, tying their season-high winning streak at four games.

Kyrie Irving contributed 25 points in the game, and Daniel Gafford, in his first game for Dallas, added 19 points and nine rebounds. Gafford and P.J. Washington, both recent acquisitions through trades, made an immediate impact.

After arriving from the Washington Wizards, Gafford demonstrated his vitality off the bench, a role he’s anticipated to continue once Dereck Lively II recovers from a broken nose. Meanwhile, Washington, with a 14-point performance, joined from Charlotte. Both players showcased their synergy with Doncic early on, executing alley-oop slams from his assists in the opening quarter.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Gafford expressed his seamless integration into the team, praising the dynamic with Doncic, Irving, and the rest of the squad. Despite playing only 17 minutes, he was efficient, hitting 7 of 11 shots.

“Playing with guys like Luka, Kyrie, all the other guys that were on the floor, it just felt like I was already part of the mold,” Gafford said.

With Doncic resting in the fourth quarter, he concluded the game with nine assists and eight rebounds. The Mavericks have now won all four games since Irving returned from a thumb injury.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd highlighted the team’s brisk pace and the ability to keep minutes balanced across the board, reflecting on what contributed to their victory.

“The pace was high,” Kidd said. “We didn’t have to run anybody’s minutes up. And that was something that we talked about this afternoon. A lot, a lot of good stuff.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 25 points. The team, having acquired Gordon Hayward from the Hornets, plans to debut the 2017 All-Star after the upcoming All-Star break.

The Mavericks set a franchise record for points in the first quarter, establishing a 47-30 lead, with Doncic contributing 18. This marked the most points the Thunder have conceded in a quarter this season.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault pointed to the combination of Dallas’ shooting accuracy and fast-break points as key factors in the high-scoring quarter.

“They shot it well early, but that’s where some of the transition, like straight up fast break plays really hurt you,” Daigneault said. “Because when you’re giving up easy ones, and they’re making shots, then that’s how the 47 can happen in the first quarter.”

Despite an early 22-point deficit, Oklahoma City narrowed the gap to four points in the second quarter. However, Dallas regained control in the second half, with Gafford’s offensive rebounding and free throw extending their lead to 110-89 by the end of the third quarter.

“What we’ve seen playing against Gafford is that he gets every offensive rebound,” Kidd said. “And I thought he did that for us. And we’re going to need that.”

Looking ahead, the Thunder will face the Sacramento Kings, while the Mavericks are set to play against the Washington Wizards in their upcoming games.

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