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    Luka Doncic

    NBA: Luka Doncic Shines with Triple-Double as Mavericks Take Series Lead Over Thunder

    May 16, 2024

    Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic delivered a masterful performance with a 31-point triple-double, leading his team to a 104-92 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. This win gives the Mavericks a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

    Doncic, who has often been vocal about his frustrations with referees, took a different approach in Game 5. “I’m just trying to play basketball, just focus on basketball,” he said. “Sometimes I forget this is the thing I love, the thing I do. My mental focus was just go out there and play basketball with a smile on my face and just go.”

    His renewed focus paid off. The league’s leading scorer in the regular season had been underperforming in the series, averaging just 22 points on 39% shooting over the first four games while battling a sprained right knee and a sore left ankle. However, in Game 5, Doncic hit 12 of 22 field goals, dished out 11 assists, and grabbed 10 rebounds, marking his sixth career playoff triple-double.

    “He was aggressive,” said Mavericks coach Jason Kidd. “He was making shots, taking shots. The deep 3, being able to get to the basket, playmaking for his bigs and also for the wings.”

    The Mavericks needed this win after letting a 14-point lead slip in Game 4, losing 100-96 at home. Reflecting on that game, Doncic said, “We know the last game we played against them at home, we let it go. It was our mistakes and they hit shots.”

    Dallas also got a significant contribution from Derrick Jones Jr., who scored a playoff career-high 19 points. P.J. Washington Jr. added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The team shot an impressive 52.6% from the floor, highlighting their offensive efficiency.

    For the top-seeded Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the charge with 30 points, but he lacked sufficient support, as no other player scored more than 13. Despite a late surge that cut the deficit to 10 points in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City struggled to close the gap.

    Coach Mark Daigneault acknowledged his team’s shooting woes but noted some positives. “I thought we were kind of there tonight and maybe missed a couple plays,” he said.

    In a bid to revitalize their offense, the Thunder made a lineup change, replacing Josh Giddey with Isaiah Joe. This was Giddey’s first time not starting in 229 combined regular season and postseason games. Despite the change, the Mavericks controlled the game from the outset, building a 15-point lead in the second quarter and maintaining a 54-44 advantage at halftime. Jones was pivotal in the first half, scoring 15 points.

    Gilgeous-Alexander’s 14 points in the third quarter kept the Thunder within reach, but Dallas held strong, leading 79-67 heading into the final period. The Mavericks extended their lead to 18 points early in the fourth quarter, and although Oklahoma City mounted a brief comeback, they never got closer than seven points.

    With the series now 3-2, the Mavericks are on the brink of advancing to the Western Conference finals. “We’ve got one more to win out of two games,” Doncic said. “That’s it. We’re up 3-2, but that’s still nothing. We’ve got to finish it and go with the same mentality at home.”

    The Thunder, facing elimination for the first time, remain resolute. “Our mood won’t change, our mentality won’t change,” Gilgeous-Alexander stated. “It’s one game at a time. We wanted to win this game tonight as badly as we’re going to want to win the next game.”

    Game 6 promises to be a decisive clash as the Mavericks seek to clinch the series at home, while the Thunder fight to extend their postseason run.

    About the Author


    Written by DafaNews

    DafaNews brings you the most highlighted news in the world of Sports. It serves you up-to-date matches, scores, live streams, fantasy games and quizzes. Our news covers prestigious leagues and events – Premier League, Champions League, World Cup and many more.

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