May 24, 2024

Luka Doncic is a warrior, and the Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t unstoppable. The great overcame various injuries to set the tone early in Game 2.

Doncic, who was already nursing a knee issue, injured his elbow and face on a horrific tumble to the hardwood in the first half. Regardless, he delivered often in crunch time, helping Dallas win 119-110 in the Western Conference playoffs on Thursday. The series is now tied 1-1.

Doncic scored 16 points in the first quarter to kickstart the Mavericks, and he finished with 29 points on 11-of-21 shooting, including 5 of 8 from deep. Several times, he came up with clutch, tough shots when it appeared that one of his injuries would keep him on the bench for the rest of Game 2.

Dallas also enjoyed an outstanding performance from P.J. Washington. The forward scored a playoff career-high 29 points, shooting 7 of 11 from beyond the arc and grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving only scored nine points (2 of 8), but he helped distribute the ball around, ending with a team-high 11 assists.

The Mavericks led by as much as 14 points early in the game before losing it in the second half. However, courtesy to Doncic and numerous huge plays by Washington and Tim Hardaway Jr., they were able to respond and hold off the young Thunder down the line.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led OKC with a game-high 33 points (13 of 24), two assists shy of a triple-double, but it was not enough. The only other Thunder players to score in double figures were Jalen Williams (20 points) and Chet Holmgren (11 points).

This marks the Thunder’s first postseason loss after starting 5-0, as well as their first encounter with adversity as a talented but young team. They will put their skills to the test when the series returns on Saturday with Game 3 in Dallas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *