College Hoops

Thunder stun Mavericks; Celtics up 3-1 | WNBA’s Caitlin Clark era begins

Thunder stun Mavericks; Celtics up 3-1 | WNBA's Caitlin Clark era begins


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๐Ÿ€ Good morning to everyone, but especially to …

THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER AND THE BOSTON CELTICS

These very young, very fun and very promising Thunder have their first signature playoff win. Oklahoma City, which trailed by as much as 14, used a late 9-0 run to stun the Mavericksย 100-96 to even the seriesย and regain home-court advantage.

  • When almost everyone was struggling offensively, the Thunder leaned on their excellent defense and MVP runner-upย Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (34 points) to stay within arm’s length.
  • When the lid finally came off the basket, it did at the perfect time: Oklahoma City scored 35 points in the fourth quarter, with Chet Holmgren (18 points) and Lu Dort (17) making huge 3-pointers down the stretch.
  • Luka Doncicย shot 6-of-20 (and 2-of-9 from 3) and, with the Mavs down by two with 10 seconds left, he missed his first free-throw attempt after being fouled on a drive to the hoop. Kyrie Irving had just nine points. Oklahoma City’s ability to throw a plethora of athletic, physical defenders at both of them and have Holmgren protect the rim is huge.

Plenty of teams — more experienced, more accomplished ones at that — would have crumbled. Not the burgeoning Thunder. What a win.

The Celtics, meanwhile, are one game away from their third consecutive Eastern Conference finals after a 109-102 win over the Cavaliers, who were without star Donovan Mitchell (calf strain). Boston goes back home for Game 5, up 3-1.

It wasn’t always the prettiest game from the East’s top seed,…

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