Mavericks Shooting Woes Continue in G1 Loss

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket against Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder | Image by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images
Kyrie Irving #11 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket against Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder | Image by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 117-95 in Game 1 of the second round of the NBA Playoffs.

Each of the teams struggled to score in the opening portion of the game, but the Thunder took the lead early in the second quarter and never let up, as the Mavericks were unable to take the lead at any point in the second half.

Dallas guard Luke Doncic started the game out hot, scoring eight of the team’s first 11 points through the opening six minutes of the game.

The two teams went back and forth throughout the quarter, as Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made a turnaround jump shot over Doncic to put them up 17-14 with 3:48 remaining in the quarter.

Mavericks guard Josh Green quickly responded with a three-point jump shot off an assist from Doncic to tie the game at 17 less than 15 seconds later.

The defensive battle began in the final minutes of the quarter, with the two teams tied at 23 going into the first break of the game.

Oklahoma City guard Aaron Wiggins provided a spark for the team off the bench to start the second quarter, scoring eight points in less than four minutes to start the quarter.

However, this spark was offset by a scoring spurt from the Mavericks as four separate players combined for 10 points during this same period, as Dallas took a 33-32 lead with 8:29 remaining in the half.

The Thunder began to get hot from the field as Gilgeous-Alexander scored six straight points to help guide Oklahoma City to a 46-38 lead with 4:27 left in the half.

Oklahoma City slightly extended this lead throughout the remainder of the half, taking a 62-53 lead going into halftime.

Doncic led the Mavericks with 12 points in the first half but continued to struggle with his shooting in the playoffs, as he made just four of his 12 field goal attempts.

Although Dallas was more efficient from the field, Oklahoma City had an additional 10 scoring opportunities due to offensive rebounds, with the Thunder outrebounding the Mavericks 27-21 in the first half.

Dallas opened the second half playing much more aggressively on both offense and defense, holding the Thunder to just one made field goal on eight attempts to start the half.

This defense was combined with improved shooting from the team, as Irving and forward P.J. Washington hit back-to-back three-point field goals to help cut the deficit to just 66-65 with 7:22 remaining in the third quarter.

Oklahoma City took little time to respond to the Mavericks’ scoring run, as the Thunder made four quick threes to grow their lead back to 11 with 3:58 left in the quarter.

The Thunder’s hot shooting continued to end the quarter, but a fallaway three-point jump shot as time expired from Irving helped keep the Mavericks in striking distance as Oklahoma City led 89-79 going into the final quarter.

Irving’s momentum carried into the final quarter of the game as he opened the first four minutes with five points. 

However, the Thunder also continued their hot shooting as they extended their lead to 102-87 with 7:38 left in the game after back-to-back three-point jump shots by forward Jalen Williams.

This lead did nothing but grow following a 9-2 run from the Thunder after a timeout, giving them a 111-89 lead with just 5:14 left in the game.

Dallas called another timeout in an attempt to slow down the scoring onslaught from the Thunder, with the team opting to substitute all starters for the remainder of the game.

Oklahoma City cruised to a 117-95 victory to give themselves a 1-0 series lead heading into Game 2, as Gilgeous-Alexander contributed 29 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists.

The Mavericks continued a trend from their first series of poor shooting, with the team making just 39.3% of their field goals and 34.3% of their three-point attempts.

The teams will remain in Oklahoma City for Game 2, which is currently scheduled to take place on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

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