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MX News Update 2024

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Oklahoma City Thunder defeats Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Playoff

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander produced 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-95 victory over the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Gilgeous-Alexander shot 8 of 19 from the floor but 11 of 13 from the free throw line in his first career second-round playoff game. The Thunder became the youngest team in NBA history to win a conference semifinal.

Kyrie Irving scored 19 points and Luka Doncic finished with 19 points and nine assists for Dallas.

Less than five minutes into the third quarter, the Mavericks cut a Thunder lead from 12 points to one on Irving’s 3-pointer off a feed from Luka Doncic.

Oklahoma City outscored Dallas 51-30 the rest of the way.

“I think it’s a muscle we’ve built at this point,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said of the poise his team showed as Dallas cut into his team’s lead. “We’ve had to go through a lot of situations like this over the course of the season. I think a lot of it comes from respect for your opponent.”

The Thunder quickly answered Irving’s trey after a timeout, with Isaiah Joe draining a 3-pointer to spark a 14-4 run over the next three minutes.

Gilgeous-Alexander assisted on two of the Thunder’s four three-pointers during the run and then added the exclamation point by sinking a three-pointer from the top of the key, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.

Before the game, Doncic praised Oklahoma City’s Luguentz Dort, calling him one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA.

Dort showed why on the key sequence, knocking the ball away from Doncic near center court, diving to collect the ball before quickly finding a streaking Joe, who fed it to Jalen Williams for a dunk.

Dort helped the Thunder hold Doncic to 6 of 19 shooting, including 1 of 8 from beyond the arc.

“They’re a great team, a great defensive team, a great offensive team, so it’s not going to be easy at all,” Doncic said. “We have to play really good basketball – focused basketball – for 48 minutes.”

The Mavericks went nearly four minutes without a field goal late in the third as Oklahoma City extended the lead to 15 before Dallas cut the lead to 10 with two baskets in the final 30 seconds.

Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren had 19 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, Williams added 18 points and Aaron Wiggins had 16 off the bench, including 12 in the second quarter.

The Thunder scored 22 points off Dallas’ 16 turnovers.

The Mavericks shot just 39.3 percent, while the Thunder shot 44.9 percent.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) in Oklahoma City.