NBA: Thunder storm back in Game 4, even series with Mavs

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 22 of his game-high 34 points in the second half as the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks 100-96 on Monday to even their Western Conference semifinal series at two wins apiece.

Chet Holmgren had 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, Luguentz Dort scored 17 points and Jalen Williams had 14 points and nine boards for Oklahoma City, which closed the game on a 20-10 run. The teams will play Game 5 on Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

“We all have our role on the team,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We all have somewhere we like to get to. All we can do is get to it and trust our work. That’s what we did and we pulled it out.”

P.J. Washington led Dallas with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Luka Doncic added 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, Derrick Jones Jr. scored 17 points and Daniel Gafford added 10 points.

The top-seeded Thunder took their first lead since early in the first quarter at 89-86 when Holmgren’s 3-pointer with 3:24 remaining in the fourth capped a 9-0 run.

After Williams scored four straight points to put Oklahoma City ahead 96-91 with 1:07 to play, Dereck Lively II converted 1 of 2 free throws and Jones scored with 33.1 seconds left to make it a two-point game.

Doncic was fouled with 10.1 seconds to play and missed his first free throw before making his second. Dallas proceeded to quickly foul Holmgren, who converted two foul shots to give the Thunder a 98-95 lead with 9.4 seconds left.

Washington was fouled on the next possession and made just one of his two free throws before Gilgeous-Alexander sealed the comeback win with a pair of foul shots.

“He took almost 30 shots tonight,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said of Gilgeous-Alexander. “He has the ball 90 percent of the time. You just have to make it tough.”

Kyrie Irving finished with nine points and nine assists for Dallas, which went 12-for-23 (52.2 percent) from the foul line.

“We’ve just got to work on our free throws,” Doncic said. “We only shot 52 percent (from the line). It’s unacceptable.”

The fifth-seeded Mavericks opened the game on a 22-8 run and held a 30-20 advantage at the end of the first quarter after shooting 5-for-11 from 3-point range.

Doncic scored 12 points in the first half for Dallas, which took a 54-43 lead into intermission. Oklahoma City shot 34.9 percent from the field and went 1-for-11 (9.1 percent) from deep in the first half.

The Thunder held the Mavericks to 15 points in the third quarter and scored the final five points of the period to pull within 69-65.

Oklahoma City earned the series split despite shooting 38 percent from the field and 7-for-27 (25.9 percent) from 3-point range.

“That’s where the trust comes in and (we have) an uncommon ability to stay together,” Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said. “It did not go our way for the majority of the game. The ability to endure when the wind is in your face showed incredible maturity.”

–Field Level Media

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