May 25th, 2024

Doncic posts 30-point triple-double as Mavericks top Thunder to take 3-2 series lead

By Cliff Brunt., The Associated Press on May 15, 2024.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Luka Doncic scored 30 points in a triple-double, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-92 on Wednesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Doncic, the league’s leading scorer in the regular season, had struggled some in the series against Oklahoma City. Playing through a sprained right knee and a sore left ankle, he had averaged just 22 points on 39% shooting through the first four games. He made 12 of 22 field goals in Game 5 and had 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his sixth career playoff triple-double.

Derrick Jones Jr. scored a playoff career-high 19 points and P.J. Washington Jr. added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Dallas, which shot 52.6% from the floor. The No. 5-seeded Mavericks can advance to the Western Conference finals with a win Saturday at home.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, from Hamilton, scored 30 points for the top-seeded Thunder, but no other Oklahoma City player scored more than 13 points.

The Mavericks won Game 5 on the road, just like they did in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers. Dallas held Oklahoma City to 42.5% shooting.

Oklahoma City tried to jump-start its struggling offense by replacing Josh Giddey with Isaiah Joe in the starting lineup. Giddey did not start for the first time in 229 combined regular season and postseason games.

Dallas led by 15 in the second quarter and took a 54-44 edge into halftime. Jones scored 15 points before the break.

Gilgeous-Alexander scored 14 points in the third quarter, but Dallas still led 79-67.

Dallas pushed its lead out to 18 points early in the fourth quarter before the Thunder surged. A 3-pointer by Gilgeous-Alexander cut the deficit to 89-79 with just under seven minutes remaining and forced Dallas to call a timeout. The Thunder never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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