In Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, Gilgeous-Alexander scores 29 points to propel the Oklahoma City Thunder to a victory over the Dallas Mavericks

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Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander performed as expected, while Luka Doncic didn’t meet his usual standards. Gilgeous-Alexander contributed 29 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists, guiding the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-95 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Gilgeous-Alexander shot 8 for 19 from the field and made 11 of 13 free throws before exiting the game with 3:26 remaining and the Thunder leading 111-89.

On the other hand, Doncic, also an MVP finalist, scored 19 points but struggled with his shooting, making only 6 of 19 attempts and committing five turnovers. When asked about his shooting performance, he expressed indifference, emphasizing the need to focus on the next game.

Lu Dort primarily defended against Doncic, with rookie Cason Wallace also getting some defensive assignments, and 7-foot-1 center Holmgren providing additional defensive pressure near the basket.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault praised Dort’s defensive efforts, describing him as a dedicated player who consistently brings energy to the court. He acknowledged Doncic’s skills but credited Dort and the team for making it difficult for him to perform at his best.

Gilgeous-Alexander working the floor against Kyrie Irving

Holmgren contributed 19 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Although Jalen Williams struggled with his shooting in the first three quarters, he managed to score 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, aiding Oklahoma City in maintaining their undefeated streak in the playoffs.

Kyrie Irving scored 20 points for the Mavericks, while Daniel Gafford added 16 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocks.

Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night in Oklahoma City. Coach Daigneault is mindful of the Mavericks’ ability to win on the road, as they demonstrated by stealing home-court advantage from the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their previous series, eventually winning it 4-2.

Despite being outrebounded 52-39, the Thunder managed to secure a significant victory by limiting the Mavericks to 39.3% shooting.

Gilgeous-Alexander briefly rested at the beginning of the second quarter before returning to the game at the 8:20 mark. He contributed 11 points in the period, helping the Thunder to a 62-53 lead at halftime. By halftime, he had already scored 19 points, while Aaron Wiggins, coming off the bench, contributed 12 of his 16 points before the break.

The Mavericks started the second half strong, with a 3-pointer by Irving cutting Oklahoma City’s lead to 66-65, prompting the Thunder to call a timeout.


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