Thunder rally back in the 4th quarter to defeat Mavericks

Written by: Miles Jordan

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Thunder rally back in the 4th quarter to defeat Mavericks

The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 100-96, in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals on Monday, May 13, to even the series at 2-2 as the Thunder head home for Game 5.

The Thunder were led by former NBA MVP front-runner Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored a game-high 34 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and recorded five assists, two steals, and two blocks. This is Gilgeous-Alexander’s third straight 30-plus-point game this series; however, this is the only game his efforts have secured the Thunder a victory.

The Thunder were down four points entering the fourth quarter, but their free throw-making ability allowed them to scrape past Dallas for a four-point victory. The Mavericks went 6-11 in the fourth quarter, leaving a valuable five points on the court, while the Thunder went a perfect 7-7 in the court quarter, which made all the difference in the game’s outcome. The Mavericks went 12-23 from the charity stripe the entire game, shooting 52.2%, while the Thunder only missed one free throw, shooting 23-24 on the free throw line.

Rookie center Chet Holmgren was the Thunder’s second-highest scorer, finishing the game with 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. With his four blocks recorded in Game 4, Holmgren has 23 total blocks this postseason, the most playoff blocks by a rookie since former Thunder center Serge Ibaka in 2009. Oklahoma City forwards Lou Dort (17) and Jalen Williams (14) scored 10+ points and combined for 17 of Oklahoma City’s 56 rebounds.

Dallas was led by up-and-coming forward PJ Washington, who joins Dallas superstars Dirk Nowitski and Luka Doncic as the only Mavericks to record 20+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 5+ made three-point baskets in multiple playoff games. Washington finished the game with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and five made three-point baskets. However, he, too, shot right around the team average of 50% from the charity stripe, shooting 2-4.

The Thunder host Game 5 on Wednesday, May 15, at 9:30 p.m. EST. Either team can take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference Semi-Finals and move one step closer to the Western Conference Finals.