Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Guides Thunder To Win Over Mavs, Ties Series 2-2

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In a thrilling Western Conference semifinal matchup, the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from behind to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 100-96, tying their NBA playoff series at 2-2.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the charge with 34 points, while Chet Holmgren and Lu Dort delivered clutch 3-pointers in the final minutes.

The Thunder’s persistence paid off despite the Mavericks’ strong defensive effort, which included a franchise playoff-record 13 blocks.

“We just stuck to it,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We just plugged away, took it possession by possession. And eventually the game turned for us.”

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

The Mavericks’ struggles from the free throw line proved costly, as they shot a dismal 52% (12-23). In contrast, the Thunder excelled from the line, shooting 23-24 (96%).

“We’ve just got to work on our free throws,” Luka Doncic said. “That’s unacceptable.”

P.J. Washington led the Mavericks with 21 points, while Doncic contributed 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. However, Doncic’s shooting woes continued, as he scored 6-20 overall and 2-9 from the three-point range.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault praised his team’s resilience.

“There’s nothing comfortable about playoff games,” Daigneault said. “I thought our ability just to endure the early punches, and just not able to get back in the game for a long time, our ability to endure that was big time. In the fourth, the offense turned for us.”

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

The series now shifts to Oklahoma City for Game 5, where the Thunder aim to build on their momentum.

“This is probably the most meaningful game I’ve played in my career,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.

Doncic acknowledged the challenges of having to overcome the Thunder’s defensive gameplanning of trying to neutralize him and Irving, saying, “I think there’s a focus on us… We’ve just got to find open teammates.”

With the series deadlocked at 2-2, the intensity is sure to escalate in Game 5. Can the Thunder maintain their momentum, or will the Mavericks bounce back? The battle for the Western Conference semifinal continues.

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

The Mavericks’ defense was solid, with Dereck Lively II and Derrick Jones Jr. each recording four blocks. However, their offense struggled, shooting just 42% in the fourth quarter and 1-5 from three-point range.

Gilgeous-Alexander and Holmgren carried the load for the Thunder, with Gilgeous-Alexander getting the team even on a jumper with four minutes to go. Holmgren then hit a crucial three-pointer for an 89-86 lead with 3:24 remaining.

In the end, the Thunder’s clutch shooting and free throw prowess made the difference. With the series now tied, both teams will look to gain the upper hand in Game 5.

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