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NBA playoffs: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander powers Thunder rally past Mavs to tie series at 2-2

May 14th, 2024

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t get much offensive help from his teammates Monday night.

He didn’t need it.

The Thunder All-Star powered a rally from a 14-point first-half deficit to lead Oklahoma City to a 100-96 win over the Dallas Mavericks Monday night. With the win, the Thunder tied the Western Conference semifinals series at 2-2 to avoid going back to Oklahoma City on the brink of elimination.

In a grind of a game for both teams, Gilgeous-Alexander was the star of the show on offense in a 34-point effort. He helped lead the Thunder back from a 22-8 first-quarter deficit then powered a 9-0 fourth-quarter run that put the Thunder up, 89-86. Oklahoma City didn’t trail again.

The Thunder struggled for much of the night against a stifling Dallas defense that repeatedly challenged Oklahoma City efforts in the paint. But Gilgeous-Alexander thrived while All-Stars Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving struggled on offense for the Mavericks.

Dončić had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line in the final seconds. But he missed the front end of two shots with Dallas trailing, 96-94 with 10.1 seconds remaining. Gilgeous-Alexander went on to ice the game with a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to secure the four-point win.

Powered by P.J. Washington and a dominant early effort in the paint, Dallas took control early. The Mavericks led 30-20 after the first quarter and 54-43 at halftime. The Mavericks did much of their early work on the boards with a 13-5 rebounding edge in the first quarter and a 22-17 advantage at halftime.

But the Thunder put the clamps on the Dallas offense in the third quarter, limiting the Mavericks to 15 points in the stanza. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 12 points in the quarter as the Thunder finished on a 22-12 run to cut their deficit to 69-65 for the start of the fourth.

Dallas maintained the lead through most of the fourth quarter until Gilgeous-Alexander seized control of the game in the final six minutes. He scored eight straight Thunder points while repeatedly hitting contested shots to claw the Thunder back into the game.

His baseline tear-drop floater over Tim Hardaway Jr. and Washington tied the game at 86-86.

A Chet Holmgren 3 on a Gilgeous-Alexander assist then capped a 9-0 run gave the Thunder their first lead since 4-2 in the first quarter at 89-86. They did not relinquish this lead.

This story will be updated.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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