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NBA Playoffs: Thunder take 1-0 lead over Mavericks in West semis

Oklahoma City added its fifth consecutive victory to open the postseason by defeating Luka Doncic's team 117-95.

7 de mayo de 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, EE.UU.; El escolta de los Oklahoma City Thunder Aaron Wiggins (21) gesticula tras anotar una canasta de tres puntos contra los Dallas Mavericks durante la segunda mitad del primer partido de la segunda ronda de los playoffs de la NBA 2024 en el Paycom Center.

(Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA / Cordon Press)

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(AFP / VOZ MEDIA Oklahoma City added its fifth consecutive victory in the NBA Playoffs by defeating the Dallas Mavericks 117-95 this Tuesday at the start of the Western Conference Semifinals, in a duel in which Luka Doncic struggled and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned to shine.

Doncic scored 8 of his 19 points in the first quarter, in a bittersweet game for the Mavericks' star, who averaged 30 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds in the first round series against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Discomfort in his right knee was the main obstacle for Doncic Tuesday, shooting 32% (6/19) from the field, and just 1/8 from the 3-point line.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was Oklahoma City's leader in a first half in which they reached a lead of up to 12 points. The candidate for the NBA Most Valuable Player award finished with a line of 29 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists.

Kyrie Irving got the Mavericks back into the game with a last-second basket at the end of the third quarter, closing the gap to 10, but Dallas had a nearly three-minute scoreless streak in that stretch of the game.

However, the Thunder's Jalen Williams put a stop to any aspirations the Mavericks had, scoring 10 of his 18 points consecutively in the final quarter in which Oklahoma City rose to the occasion defensively, allowing only 16 points.

Tim Hardaway Jr. returned for Dallas after a four-game absence due to an ankle injury. In 17 minutes, he was able to connect on just one of his five attempts for 2 points.

For the fifth consecutive game, an Oklahoma City opponent has not exceeded the 100-point mark.

The Western Conference Semifinals will continue on Thursday with the second game of the series at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City.