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Dallas Mavs Nip OKC Thunder 117-116 Advance to Western Conference Finals


PhilBoxing.com





Dallas is back in the Finals of the Western Conference.

PJ Washington scored all his nine points in the last quarter, including two free hrows with two seconds left to propel the fifth seed Mavericks to 117-116 win over the top seed Oklahoma City Thunder today.

Dallas thus clinched its semifinals series 4-2 against OKC, incidentally the ball club it defeated in its last Western Finals appearance in 2011. That team starring Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd went on to win the NBA championship over the Miami Heat featuring LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.

This time there are no Nowitzki and Kidd. But there are Luka Doncic who can shoot like Dirk and Kyrie Irving who is somewhat of a playmaker though not as excellent like Kidd.

And then there's PJ Washington, a tall power forward who can be counted on when Doncic and Irving could not seem to vault the Mavs over the top as was the case for most of this all important contest.

Fortunately, Doncic and Irving were on their A game this night and with big men Daniel Galford and Derrick Lively ll contributing, the Mavs were able to hang on the Thunder's coattails from the get go.

Ironically it was Washington who could not seem to get going early on, in fact for three fourths of the game as Dallas had to play catch up with Shai Gilgeous Alexander partnering well with center Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams in staking OKC ahead.

The Thunder had their biggest lead at 77-60 when the Mavs started to claw back, holding OKC scoreless for nearly four minutes to bring the deficit go more manageable level by the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Then Washington silently made his presence felt.

PJ made two charities to narrow OKC lead 99-100. Then minutes later he tied the score 105-all.

Afterwards, he hit a triple to give the lead to Dallas, 113-100.

It was nip and tuck from that point on.

With barely two ticks left, Williamson drew a shooting foul from Alexander with the score 116-115 in favor of OKC. PJ calmly sunk both charities to give the lead for good to Dallas, 117-116.

OKC's Jaylin Williams missed a desperation triple at the buzzer.

Thus, Dallas is the first to clinch one of the two Finals berth in the West.

The other slot will be fought over in deciding game seven between Denver and Minnesota tomorrow.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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