SGA, Thunder are too much for Luka, Mavs in Game 1 rout

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder to a Game 1 win over Kyrie Irving and the Mavericks. (Joshua Gateley/Getty Images)

In a matchup of dynamic duos, Oklahoma City’s reigned supreme on Tuesday.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren powered the Thunder to a 117-95 win over Luka Dončić, Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

After a tight first quarter, the Thunder asserted control to take a nine-point halftime lead. The Mavericks cut that deficit to one in the third, but the Thunder hit back with a run of their own to bump their lead back to double digits. The Mavericks never threatened in the fourth quarter, and the Thunder walk away with a convincing Game 1 win.

Gilgeous-Alexander powered the Thunder offense with a game-high 29 points alongside nine rebounds, nine assists, two blocks and a steal. He had 19 at halftime to outscore the combined first-half effort (18 points) from Dončić and Irving.

Holmgren was a force on both sides of the court while posting 19 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals. He shot 8 of 16 from the field and hit 2 of 5 3-pointers.

After a six-point first half, Irving picked up the pace with nine third-quarter points including a 3-pointer to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 66-65. But it wasn’t enough.

The Thunder responded to the Dallas run with a 14-4 run of their own to extend their lead back to 80-69. They capped the run with a Holmgren block of Irving in the lane that set up a Gilgeous-Alexander 3-pointer on the other end.

The Thunder then dominated the fourth quarter with a 28-16 run to turn the once-close game into a runaway win.

The Thunder entered these playoffs as the West’s No. 1 seed but surrounded by questions about their viability against playoff-tested teams. They’re the youngest roster in the postseason and posses a dearth of players with postseason experience.

That inexperience wasn’t an issue in a first-round sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans. Against a Mavericks team featuring playoff-tested stars in Dončić and Irving, it did not matter Tuesday night.Youth prevailed against a Mavericks team that shot the ball poorly and turned it over 15 times.

This story will be updated.

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