Mavericks Advance to WCF with G6 Win Over Thunder

Dallas Mavericks G6 Finals 2024
Dallas Mavs G6 | Image by Dallas Mavericks/Facebook

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 117-116 in Game 6 of the second round of the NBA Playoffs, advancing them to the Western Conference Finals.

Mavericks guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined to score 51 points as Dallas rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half to beat the Thunder on last-second free throws made by forward PJ Washington.

Oklahoma City opened the game with hot shooting as forward Lu Dort scored nine points to help the Thunder take a 16-6 lead minutes into the action.

However, eight straight points from Doncic and Irving helped to get the Mavericks back within striking distance as they closed the Thunder’s lead to 16-14 with 6:43 left in the game.

The teams continued to battle in the quarter, with Oklahoma City making a late run to give themselves a 30-23 lead at the end of the quarter, encapsulated by a near halfcourt three-point jump shot made by forward Jalen Williams.

The second quarter featured much of the same, as each of the teams put together scoring runs. Dallas managed to take a 42-40 lead, giving them their first lead of the game with 4:54 remaining in the half.

This lead did not last long. The Thunder ended the half with a 24-6 run and took a commanding 64-48 lead heading into the game’s intermission.

Dallas came out aggressive to start the second half, as Irving began attacking the Thunder’s defense to get the Mavericks’ offense rolling; however, Oklahoma City continued its hot shooting and extended its lead to 77-60 less than four minutes into the second half.

Doncic and Irving then turned it on as they scored 13 straight points for the Mavericks to cut the Thunder’s lead to just 77-73 with 6:00 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Oklahoma City guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander began to heat up as well. He scored seven points in the final minutes for the Thunder, keeping their lead at 90-83 as the teams entered the final quarter of action.

The teams continued to trade shots in the fourth, with Dallas tying the game up 97-97 for the first time in the second half after a dunk by rookie center Dereck Lively II.

That dunk kicked off a 10-point scoring outburst from Lively and Washington to help keep Dallas in the game as the Mavericks went into the final four minutes tied 105-105.

Dallas maintained a 115-114 lead with just 27 seconds remaining in the game, but an alley-oop from GIlgeous-Alexander to center Chet Holmgren once again gave the Thunder a one-point lead with just 20.1 seconds remaining.

The Mavericks did not call a timeout on their final possession. Doncic attacked Dort on his way to the rim, passing the ball to Washington for a three-point attempt with just 2.5 seconds left in the game.

Gilgeous-Alexander fouled Washington on his three-point attempt, and he made two of his three free-throw attempts to seal the Mavericks’ victory.

Doncic ended the game with his third straight triple-double in the series, finishing with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists, while Irving contributed 22 points to help guide Dallas to the win.

The Mavericks also saw key contributions from forward Derrick Jones Jr., who had a playoff career-high for the third straight game. He finished with 22 points and made multiple clutch baskets for the team in the fourth quarter.

Irving said after the game that he was “trying to hold back to emotions just because of how hard and tough this series was,” noting that it was one of the hardest of his career, per ESPN.

The Mavericks will now look to the Western Conference Finals, where they will travel to play either the Minnesota Timberwolves or the Denver Nuggets in a best-of-seven series.

Dallas will travel to the winner of that series for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CT.

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