Mavericks Hold Off Oklahoma City Thunder’s Comeback for Dramatic Win

Mavericks win against Thunder
Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) trailed by the Oklahoma City Thunder's Luguentz Dort (5). | Image by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

On Monday night, the Dallas Mavericks held on for a narrow 104-102 home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.  

Luka Doncic delivered yet another impressive stat line, something Mavericks fans have grown accustomed to seeing.

Doncic finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists for his fifth triple-double this season and 41st in his career. The 22-year old Doncic now has one more triple-double in his career than all other Dallas players in franchise history combined. 

Doncic accomplished his latest triple-double despite making just four of 17 shot attempts, landing zero of six from three-point range. Most of his points came from the free-throw line, where Doncic made 12 of 14 attempts. 

“I think I got to shoot way better,” Doncic said postgame. “I’ve got to mix one in at some point. But, I always say, ‘If we get a win, it’s great.’”

Doncic was essential for the Mavericks to hold off the Thunder, who went on a 22-2 run late in the third quarter to erase a 22-point Mavericks lead that remained within single digits for the remainder of the game. 

“We kind of took our foot off the gas,” said Dorian Finney-Smith, who added 17 points and ten rebounds. Finney-Smith led Dallas from three-point range, making four of seven attempts from deep, while the rest of the Mavericks made just eight of 30.

Oklahoma City provided a scare to Dallas as they cut the Mavericks’ lead to one possession three times in the last 25.6 seconds. But, Dallas held on to avoid the upset loss when Tim Hardaway Jr. intercepted a Thunder pass with 1.8 seconds remaining to prevent a potentially game-winning shot attempt. 

The Mavericks have won nine of their last ten games, losing just once since the calendar flipped to 2022. Their defense has been the primary reason for their success, which was no different in this game. Dallas picked up ten steals and seven blocks as a team while forcing the Thunder into 13 turnovers.

Kristaps Porzingis was in action for the second consecutive game since returning from a COVID-19 absence. This season, it was Porzingis’ first game against Oklahoma City, as he missed the team’s previous two meetings. It was also the first time that Porzingis and Doncic were on the court together for two consecutive games since December 8-10. 

Porzingis started hot, scoring the Mavericks’ first seven points of the game. However, he would only finish with 13 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes of action. 

Porzingis did not have a glorious last moment on the court. With 3:51 remaining in the game, he got scored on by the Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, cutting the Dallas lead down to three points. Porzingis subsequently threw the ball at the team bench and appeared to shout at Dallas assistant coach Jared Dudley. He was taken out of the game and did not return.

Porzingis was smiling postgame and said that “somebody on the bench said something” to frustrate him, but “it’s nothing special.”

The Mavericks held an 11-point lead at halftime but faltered in the second half due to inconsistent shooting. When Dallas had a 70-48 lead halfway through the third quarter, Oklahoma City responded by outscoring the Mavericks 54-34 for the remainder of the game, coming up just short of a come-from-behind victory.

“They kept playing,” coach Jason Kidd said postgame, and “we didn’t.”

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article