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Thunder recovers after allowing a late 30-0 run and beats the Mavericks


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Thunder NBA

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) passes against Dallas Mavericks defenders Derrick Jones Jr. (55), Richaun Holmes (20) and Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of a game NBA basketball in Dallas, Saturday, December 1st. 2, 2023. (AP Picture/LM Otero)

DALLAS — Jalen Williams scored 23 points and Oklahoma City rallied after putting Dallas on an NBA-record 30-0 fourth-quarter lead to beat the Mavericks 126-120 on Saturday night.

That surge allowed the Mavericks to go 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 period was a 29-0 run by Cleveland over Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 2009. Dallas led 120-118 before the Thunder scored the final eight points of the game.

The Thunder’s latest rally began with a road 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 game, and Williams put the Thunder ahead for good with a putback with 40 seconds remaining.

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

The Mavericks’ streak was the longest without allowing a field goal during play-by-play, dating back to 1996-97. This lasted from 11:09 playing until 4:18.

After such a wild fourth quarter in both directions, all the coaches praised the courage of his team.

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

“The personality of the team showed through there,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said.

And how does a team lose 30 consecutive points?

“A lot of things have to go wrong, offensively and defensively,” Daigneault said. “But again, it’s tough to go against 30-0 and win a game. So obviously a lot of things went well in the game as well.”

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

Bertans went 3 for 3 on 3-pointers and made six free throws while fouling twice from behind the arc.

Holmgren had 11 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

The Mavericks have been swept back-to-back at home, losing to Memphis 108-94 on Friday and falling 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 from behind the arc.

The Thunder, who averaged 12.9 made treys per game, made 20 of 44.

Doncic returned to the lineup after missing Friday’s game while welcoming a new baby girl on Thursday. Doncic’s 59th triple-double ties him with Larry Chook for ninth all-time.

The Mavericks played without their number 2 and their three scorers. His fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving (23.6 points per game) sat out after twisting his foot on Friday. Sixth man Tim Hardaway Jr. (16.8 points) missed his second straight game with back spasms.

Mavericks rookie center Derek Full of life II had a career-high 20 points, 14 in the second half and 16 rebounds.

“I told him at halftime: ‘Don’t try to go there. 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 each one.

The Oklahoma City bench outscored Dallas 55-23 – 33-12 in the first half while taking a 72-56 lead.

FOLLOWING

Thunder: At Houston on Wednesday.

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

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