Mavericks’ Offense Struggles in Game 4 Loss

Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks | Image by Tim Heitman/Getty Images
Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks | Image by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-96 on Monday in Game 4 of the second round of the NBA Playoffs, tying the series 2-2 heading into Game 5.

Neither team shot well from the field throughout the action, as the Mavericks led for the majority of the game before the Thunder came back in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic opened the game aggressively as he attacked Thunder forward Lu Dort early, forcing Dort to pick up two fouls less than three minutes into the game.

This aggressiveness paid off for the Mavericks as they opened the game with a 14-6 lead with 7:00 left in the quarter, as the team managed to hold the Thunder to just three for 10 shooting from the field to start the game.

Dallas continued to extend their lead throughout the first quarter, making it 22-8 with 4:45 remaining in the quarter on a three-point basket from forward Derrick Jones Jr.

Oklahoma City managed to cut the lead slightly, ending the quarter with Dallas ahead by 10. Doncic contributed seven points and five rebounds in the first quarter.

The Mavericks continued their aggressive offense in the second quarter, extending their lead to 44-33 with 5:12 remaining in the half after guard Kyrie Irving assisted on three straight baskets to forward P.J. Washington and center Dereck Lively II.

A quick scoring burst from Oklahoma City cut the Mavericks’ lead to just 46-39 with 2:40 left in the half after a pull-up jump shot from Dort.

Dallas managed to extend their lead as the half ended after Doncic hit a step-back three-point jump shot with just 7.1 seconds left, giving the Mavericks a 54-43 lead at halftime.

Doncic finished the half with 12 points and eight rebounds, with Washington contributing 11 points and four rebounds.

The Mavericks quickly extended their lead at the start of the second half, as Washington made a three-point jump shot less than a minute into the game to give Dallas a 57-43 lead.

Another scoring burst from the Thunder reduced the Mavericks’ lead to 61-54 following a midrange jump shot made by guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Dallas’ shooting suffered in the third quarter, scoring 15 points while shooting just five for 19 from the field and two for six from behind the three-point line. The team went into the final quarter of the game with only a four-point lead.

Doncic opened the final quarter of the game aggressively, scoring the Mavericks’ first nine points and growing their lead to 78-72 with 8:33 remaining in the game.

The two teams continued to battle throughout the quarter as Oklahoma City forward Jalen Williams cut the Mavericks’ lead to just 82-78 with 6:33 remaining in the quarter.

Oklahoma City went on a 9-0 run over the next three minutes to take an 89-86 lead with 3:24 left in the game — their first lead of the second half.

Dallas’ shooting trouble continued for the remainder of the game as the team missed multiple key free throws during the final two minutes, helping the Thunder to cruise to a 100-96 win.

The Mavericks shot 40.9% from the field during the game while making just 34.3% of their three-point attempts. However, the team’s biggest issue was at the free throw line, shooting just 12 for 23.

The Thunder’s win ties the series 2-2 as the teams head back to Oklahoma City for Game 5, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.

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