NBA playoffs

Balanced Thunder storm past Mavericks, tie playoffs series 2-2


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Balanced Thunder storm past Mavericks, tie playoffs series 2-2

PASSING THROUGH. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) moves the ball past Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the second half in game four of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scores 22 of his 34 points in the second half as the OKC Thunder rally past the Dallas Mavericks, who only got 9 points from Kyrie Irving, for a 2-2 series tie

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 22 of his game-high 34 points in the second half as the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks 100-96 on Monday (Tuesday, May 14, Manila time) to even their Western Conference semifinal series at two wins apiece.

Chet Holmgren had 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, Luguentz Dort scored 17 points and Jalen Williams had 14 points and nine boards for Oklahoma City, which closed the game on a 20-10 run. The teams will play Game 5 on Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

P.J. Washington led Dallas with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Luka Doncic added 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, Derrick Jones Jr. scored 17 points and Daniel Gafford added 10 points.

The top-seeded Thunder took their first lead since early in the first quarter at 89-86 when Holmgren’s 3-pointer with 3:24 remaining in the fourth capped a 9-0 run.

After Williams scored four straight points to put Oklahoma City ahead 96-91 with 1:07 to play, Dereck Lively II converted 1 of 2 free throws and Jones scored with 33.1 seconds left to make it a two-point game.

Doncic was fouled with 10.1 seconds to play and missed his first free throw before making his second. Dallas proceeded to quickly foul Holmgren, who converted two foul shots to give the Thunder a 98-95 lead with 9.4 seconds left.

Washington was fouled on the next possession and made just one of his two free throws before Gilgeous-Alexander sealed the comeback win with a pair of foul shots.

Kyrie Irving finished with nine points and nine assists for Dallas, which went 12-for-23 (52.2 percent) from the foul line.

The fifth-seeded Mavericks opened the game on a 22-8 run and held a 30-20 advantage at the end of the first quarter after shooting 5-for-11 from 3-point range.

Doncic scored 12 points in the first half for Dallas, which took a 54-43 lead into intermission. Oklahoma City shot 34.9 percent from the field and went 1-for-11 (9.1 percent) from deep in the first half.

The Thunder held the Mavericks to 15 points in the third quarter and scored the final five points of the period to pull within 69-65.

Oklahoma City earned the series split despite shooting 38 percent from the field and 7-for-27 (25.9 percent) from 3-point range. –

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