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NBA: Luka Doncic, Mavs bounce back, gain split at OKC

May 11 ------ Luka Doncic and P.J. Washington scored 29 points apiece while leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 119-110 victory over the host Oklahoma City Thunder on their Western Conference semifinal series at one win apiece. 


The Mavericks hit 18 3-pointers, their highest total in the 2024 postseason. Doncic added 10 rebounds and seven assists as he rebounded from recent shooting struggles to go 11 of 21 from the floor, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Washington's 29 points were a playoff career high, as he hit 7 of 11 3-point attempts and added 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth. 


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 33 points on 13-of-24 shooting, and he added 12 rebounds and eight assists. Jalen Williams put up 20 points. The series heads to Dallas for Game 3 on Saturday and Game 4 on Monday. With just less than 10 minutes left in the fourth, the Mavericks got a scare when Doncic came up hobbling after colliding with Oklahoma City's Cason Wallace. Despite limping through the next two possessions, Doncic remained in the game and drilled a 3-pointer, his fifth of the game, to stretch Dallas' lead back to nine and quiet any chances of a Thunder comeback. 


Doncic had gone just 5 of 35 from beyond the 3-point arc over the previous four games, including 1-of-8 effort in the Mavericks' Game 1 loss on Tuesday. The difference in Doncic was apparent from the start, as he buried a 3-pointer on his first shot of the game, fed Daniel Gafford for an alley-oop dunk on the next possession and hit two more shots in the Mavericks' 13-2, game-opening run. Luguentz Dort, who helped keep Doncic in check during the series opener, picked up two fouls in the first eight minutes. 


Doncic scored 16 points in the first quarter. After trailing by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, the Thunder came back to take their first lead of the game early in the third quarter. Oklahoma City went up 72-71 on Aaron Wiggins' jumper. However, Dallas ripped off a 15-2 run, with the last 11 Mavericks points during that stretch scored by Tim Hardaway Jr. The Dallas reserve finished with 17 points in 19 minutes, while Kyrie Irving added nine points and 11 assists. The Thunder not only took their first loss of the playoffs but also allowed more than 95 points for the first time. 


In other game, Donovan Mitchell tossed in a game-high 29 points and the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers pulled even in the Eastern Conference second round by beating the Boston Celtics 118-94. Despite being in foul trouble for much of the second half, Cleveland's Evan Mobley had 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. LeVert (21), Darius Garland (14), Isaac Okoro (12) and Max Strus (12) also scored in double figures for the Cavaliers. 


Jayson Tatum had 25 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Celtics, who shot 8 of 35 from 3-point territory. Jaylen Brown added 19 points for Boston, but was 0 for 6 on 3-pointers. The series will shift to Cleveland for Game 3 on Sunday (Manila time). 





Editor's Note: 

Here are the current standing of Semi Finals NBA Playoffs: 


Eastern Conference: 

Boston Celtics - 1 Cleveland Cavaliers - 1 

New York Knicks - 2 Indiana Pacers - 0 


Western Conference: 

Oklahoma Thunder - 1 Dallas Mavericks - 1 

Minnesota Timberwolves - 2  Denver Nuggets - 0 


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