The Oklahoma City Thunder defeats the Dallas Mavericks in the first game of the NBA playoffs

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists Oklahoma City Thunder to Win 117-95 On the visit Dallas Mavericks In Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series on Tuesday.

Gilgeous-Alexander shot 8 of 19 from the floor but 11 of 13 from the free throw line in his first game in the second round of the playoffs. The Thunder became the youngest team in NBA history to win a conference semifinal game.

Kyrie Irving scored 19 points, and Luka Doncic added 19 points and nine assists for Dallas.

Less than five minutes after the start of the third quarter, the Mavericks closed the gap with the Thunder by 12 points, with a triple point by Irving after a pass from Luka Doncic.

Oklahoma City outscored Dallas 51-30 the rest of the way.

“I think it’s a muscle we’ve built at this point,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said of the poise his team showed in the response when Dallas reduced his team’s lead. “We had to endure a lot of those situations during the season. I think a lot of it comes from respecting your opponent.”

The Thunder quickly responded to Irving’s triple after the timeout, with Isaiah Joe hitting a 3-pointer to start a 14-4 run over the next three minutes.

Gilgeous-Alexander assisted on two of the Thunder’s four 3-pointers on the run, then added the exclamation point down the stretch by planting a 3-pointer from the top of the key to send the home crowd into a frenzy.

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Before the game, Doncic praised Oklahoma City’s Luguentz Dort, calling him one of the best defenders in the NBA.

Dort showed why during a key sequence, knocking the ball away from Doncic near midcourt, then dove for the catch before quickly finding the springboard Joe, who fed it to Jalen Williams for a dunk.

Dort helped the Thunder hold Doncic to 6-of-19 shooting, including 1-of-8 from beyond the arc.

“They’re a great team, a great defensive team, a great offensive team, so it’s not going to be easy at all,” Doncic said. “We have to play very good basketball — focused basketball — for 48 minutes.”

The Mavericks did not score a field goal for nearly four minutes at the end of the third period, as Oklahoma City increased its lead to 15 points, before Dallas reduced the score to ten points with two baskets in the last 30 seconds.

Oklahoma City’s Chet Holmgren had 19 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, Williams added 18 points and Aaron Wiggins had 16 points off the bench, including 12 in the second quarter.

The Thunder scored 22 points off 16 Dallas turnovers.

The Mavericks received only 39.3 percent, while the Thunder achieved 44.9 percent.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) in Oklahoma City.

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