Home Sports Doncic triple-double, Dallas defense spark 104-92 win in Oklahoma City to go up 3-2

Doncic triple-double, Dallas defense spark 104-92 win in Oklahoma City to go up 3-2

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Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Five

Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game Five

Dallas made their defense work for all four quarters of this game.

He also had a monster game from Luka Doncic: a triple-double of 31 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds that was a masterclass game when the Mavericks needed it most. He said the OKC crowd’s “Luka Sucks” chants “get me going.”

The result was a 104-92 road victory for the Mavericks that leaves them up 3-2 over the Thunder with a chance to close out the series in Game 6 in Dallas on Saturday.

“This team is special. We’ve only been together five months. I’ve had a lot of fun with this team,” Doncic said after the game.

What Dallas has discovered that has worked in this series is a paint defense that is taking away Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s preferred drive-and-kick game: OKC shot a league-best 38.9% from 3-point range, this season because they worked inside. He went out and got shooters clean looks. Dallas has taken the strategy away from him and the Thunder’s shooters are struggling: 10 of 40 from 3 in Game 5, 17 of 67 from beyond the arc in the last two games.

“I felt like we played well offensively tonight. We had a lot of good looks like we normally do,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.

Oklahoma City rallied in the fourth quarter of Game 4 because Gilgeous-Alexander began taking and making mid-range shots (10 of 14), but was 2 of 4 in Game 5.

Dallas’ defense takes some credit for that, and while Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II have provided rim protection, the most important thing for this team is that the guys who are usually targets have stepped up their defensive effort. Like Doncic.

Oklahoma City’s defense dared Derrick Jones Jr. to shoot and he did, going 3 of 5 from 3 on his way to 19 points. Kyrie Irving added a dozen.

Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 that night on 12-of-22 shooting, but needed more help. Chet Holmgren scored 13, while Jalen Williams and Lu Dort scored a dozen.

Mark Daigneault eventually made the switch to start Isaiah Joe opposite Josh Giddey, but Joe responded with just six points on nine shot attempts.

This looked like the Mavericks’ night from the start.

After a rough fourth quarter in Game 4, Doncic and the Mavericks came out in real rhythm to start Game 5 (and this was the best Doncic has moved all series). He had 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the first half. The Mavericks’ move set up easy baskets along the way and Dallas led by 10 at the half.

Oklahoma City made some runs, but was never really a threat.

The Thunder will need to make shots to be a threat in Game 6, or the No. 1 seed will be eliminated in the second round.

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