May 20th, 2024

Canada’s Gilgeous-Alexander has 29 points to help Thunder roll past Mavericks in Game 1 of West semifinals


By Cliff Brunt, The Associated Press on May 7, 2024.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) works the floor against Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving during the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Canadian Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists to help the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks 117-95 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Chet Holmgren added 19 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for the Thunder. Jalen Williams struggled with his shot for three quarters but scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth to help Oklahoma City remain unbeaten in the playoffs.

Gilgeous-Alexander, from Hamilton, got the best of the matchup with Dallas’ Luka Doncic, a fellow MVP finalist. Doncic scored 19 points on 6-for-19 shooting and had five turnovers. Lu Dort, from Montreal, got most of the work guarding him, with rookie Cason Wallace getting some of the action and Holmgren pestering him near the rim.

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

Game 2 will be Thursday night in Oklahoma City.

Gilgeous-Alexander rested briefly at the start of the second quarter before subbing in at the 8:20 mark. He scored 11 points in the period to help the Thunder take a 62-53 lead at the break. He scored 19 points in the first half, while reserve Aaron Wiggins scored 12 of his 16 points before the break.

Dallas opened the second half on a run, and a 3-pointer by Irving cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 66-65 and forced the Thunder to call a timeout.

Isaiah Joe and Dort hit 3-pointers when play resumed, then Dort ripped Doncic, leading to a dunk by Williams that put the Thunder up 74-67. Gilgeous-Alexander’s 3-pointer with Doncic in his face put Oklahoma City up 80-69. Irving hit a 3-pointer as the third quarter expired, but the Thunder still led 89-79.

Williams scored eight straight points for the Thunder in a run that put Oklahoma City ahead 102-87.

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

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