Oklahoma City Thunder defeated Dallas Mavs to close 2019 with a win and confirm their status of a serious playoff contender. OKC was better 106-101, winning this contest even though the guests led throughout most of the time.
And it was all because of Chris Paul, who scored 13 points in the final period, and was unstoppable when needed the most. CP3 brought the lead to the hosts with 40 seconds before the end, and turned the situation completely, as Mavs had a seven-point advantage with three minutes before the end.
“Man, I missed that mid-range all game long,” he said to the reporter during the on-court interview. “and is so cool to be here, cause guys have confidence in me. And that’s why’s been so fun this season. That’s when the adrenaline starts running.”
The game, in general, was close. However, OKC couldn’t be on top for too long, as the Mavs led almost all the time. Apart from the closure of the second and start of the third when guests experienced a scoring drought, Dallas was looking fine until those last two minutes.
Though, we need to add that they had huge problems, with Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. not playing at all. Hardaway Jr. picked up an injury against the Lakers, while Porzingis’ absence was determined before this one. The Unicorn felt some pain during the warmups, and the Mavs’ medical staff decided that he should skip this event.
It is why Luka Doncic had to play almost alone. The reigning Rookie of the Year scored 35 points, had 10 boards and 7 assists, but was shooting from downtown 3-of-16, proving that he is in a sort of a shooting slump since he got back on the field after the injury.
The next one on the list was Maxi Kleber with 14 points and 14 buckets, while Dwight Powell added 11 points.
On the other side, the Thunder had a more diversified attack. Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points, same as Dennis Schroder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 19 and had 10 boards.
Chris Paul ended the night with 17 points, 8 boards, and 7 assists, and was, as we said, the ruling force on the field when mattered the most. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle stated after the match that the Thunder backcourt was, in fact, lethal for his side.
“They playmaking is exceptional,” he said. “With Paul, Gilgeous-Alexander, Shroder, you got to keep those guys the best you can, but we just didn’t do our job from start to finish.”
Both sides had a pretty bad shooting percentage from downtown, Dallas 15-of-51, while on the other hand, OKC was 6-for-27. The hosts also had 56 boards, compared to 49 of the visitors.
The Mavs are now 21-12 and have six straight matches at home coming up. It is a perfect chance to post some wins here, with the opponents like Nets, Hornets, Bulls, but also the Nuggets, Lakers and the 76ers.
As for the Thunder (18-15), their next opponents are the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday on the road. After that, they have three more stops before coming back to Oklahoma. The first is in Cleveland, then Philadelphia, and eventually Brooklyn.
This is the last article this year, and the Wagerbop.com team wishes you all the best in the upcoming 2020 year. Just stay healthy and happy and everything else will be ok 🙂 .
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.