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Thunder rally after allowing late 30-0 run and defeat Mavericks 126-120

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Thunder rally after allowing late 30-0 run and defeat Mavericks 126-120
AP
AP
December 02, 2023

DALLAS (AP) — Jalen Williams scored 23 points and Oklahoma City rallied after allowing Dallas’ NBA-record 30-0 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Mavericks 126-120 on Saturday night.

The spurt took the Mavericks from a 111-87 deficit to a 117-111 lead with 4:18 to play. The NBA said the previous record in the play-by-play era was a 29-0 run by Cleveland against Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 2009. Dallas led 120-118 before the Thunder scored the game’s final eight points.

The Thunder’s final rally began with a traveling call against Luka Doncic, who recorded his 59th career regular-season triple-double with 36 points, 18 assists and 15 assists in a season-high 46 minutes. A dunk by rookie Chet Holmgren tied the score, and Williams put the Thunder ahead for good with a reverse drive with 40 seconds left.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander then stole the ball from Doncic near midcourt and drove in for a four-point lead. Williams hit two free throws with eight seconds left for the final points.

The Mavericks’ run was the l ongest without allowing a basket in the play-by-play era, which dates to 1996-97. It lasted from 11:09 remaining in the game until 4:18.

Following such a wild fourth quarter in both directions, each coach praised his team’s fortitude.

“Obviously, it’s kind of a weird way to win,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said, “but I certainly don’t want to underestimate the mental toughness of the team.”

“The character of the team was on display there,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said.

And how does a team give up 30 straight points?

“A lot has to go wrong, offensively and defensively,” Daigneault said. “But, again, it’s hard to withstand a 30-0 and win a game. So, clearly a lot went right in the game as well.”

Gilgeous-Alexander, averaging 30.6 points coming in, scored 17 points after being limited to one in the first quarter. Cason Wallace and Davis Bertans each scored 15 points.

Bertans went 3 for 3 on 3-pointers plus six made free throws when fouled twice behind the arc.

Holmgren had 11 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

The Mavericks were swept in a home back-to-back, losing to Memphis 108-94 on Friday and dropped to 5-4 at home.

Dallas shot 51.9% in the final period including 8-of-16 from distance. OKC was 7-of-21, 20-of-9 behind the arc.

The Thunder, who came in averaging 12.9 treys made per game, hit 20-of-44.

Doncic returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s game while welcoming a newborn daughter on Thursday. Doncic’s 59th triple-doubles tie him with Larry Bird for ninth place all time.

The Mavericks played without their Nos. 2 and 3 scorers. Fellow All-Star guard Kyrie Irving (23.6 points per game) sat out after tweaking a foot on Friday. Sixth-man Tim Hardaway Jr. (16.8 points) missed his second consecutive game because of back spasms.

Mavericks rookie center Dereck Lively II had a career-best 20 points, 14 in the second half, and 16 rebounds.

“I told him at halftime: ‘Don’t look to pass. Go finish,’ ” Kidd said.

Doncic’s fiancée, Anamaria Goltes, gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Gabriela, on Thursday. Doncic’s white shoes featured pink accents and his daughter’s name written on the outside of each.

Oklahoma City’s bench outscored Dallas’ 55-23 — 33-12 in the first half when building a 72-56 lead.

UP NEXT

Thunder: At Houston on Wednesday.

Mavericks: End three-game homestand against Utah on Wednesday.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

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