Doncic Leads Mavericks to 3-2 Series Lead

Dallas Mavericks Game 5
Dallas Mavericks Game 5 | Image by Dallas Mavericks/Facebook

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-92 in Game 5 of the second round of the NBA Playoffs on Wednesday night, as the two teams will now prepare for Game 6 in American Airlines Center with the Mavericks holding onto a 3-2 series lead.

Dallas took control of the game during the second quarter and never looked back, with the Thunder failing to lead at any point during the second half.

Oklahoma City began the game hot from the field as they got out to a quick 8- 2 lead in the first two minutes of action, but a 9-0 scoring run from the Mavericks helped them regain the lead with 7:38 remaining in the quarter.

The teams continued to battle throughout the remainder of the quarter, with Dallas finishing the first quarter with a narrow 24-22 lead, as forward Derrick Jones Jr. paced the team 10 points in the first 12 minutes of game time.

Dallas extended its lead throughout the second quarter, going into halftime leading the Thunder 54-44. They held Oklahoma City to just 40% shooting from the field and 30% from behind the three-point line.

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic helped lead the team to their halftime lead while leading the team in nearly every major category, ending the half with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists.

The Mavericks opened the second half in attack mode, extending their lead to 65-51 just over five minutes into the half following five straight points scored by forward PJ Washington.

After multiple scoring runs from each team, the Mavericks went into the game’s final quarter, clinging onto a 79-67 lead.

Oklahoma City did not back down in the final 12 minutes of action, with the team cutting the Mavericks’ lead to just 90-83 with 5:16 left in the game, but another five-point scoring burst from Washington helped Dallas grow their lead back to 10 points.

Although the teams played relatively even in the final five minutes of game time, Dallas center Dereck Lively II made five of his six free throw attempts in the final two minutes to help guide the Mavericks to a 104-92 victory.

Doncic finished the game with 31 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists as he notched a thirty-point triple-double for the third time in his playoff career.

Jones Jr. had one of the best games of his playoff career as well, finishing the game with his second straight playoff career high with 19 points, following his 17-point outburst in Game 4, per The NBA.

Mavericks Head Coach Jason Kidd spoke about Doncic’s impact on the game. He said it looked like his various injuries had little impact on his performance. Kidd also noted that he was glad the MVP finalist did not focus on the referees in this game.

“Sometimes we just pencil in that he’s going to put in 30, 10 and 10. You know the playoffs are hard mentally and physically. Before the game, understand you are not going to get any calls on the road. You got to understand you got to play through it,” he said, per ESPN.

Doncic said after the games that the team cannot get too happy with themselves after their win since they understand that the series is nowhere near over against a team as good as the Thunder.

“We’ve got one more to win out of two games,” he said, according to The NBA. “That’s it. We’re up 3-2, but that’s still nothing. We’ve got to finish it and go with the same mentality at home.”

The Mavericks will now travel back to Dallas for Game 6 on May 18 at 7 p.m. with a 3-2 series lead. The team will try to close out the Thunder in American Airlines Center.

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