Mavericks star Luka Doncic’s urgent request after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s Game 4 masterclass

Mavericks star Luka Doncic’s urgent request after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s Game 4 masterclass
Mavericks star Luka Doncic’s urgent request after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s Game 4 masterclass

DALLAS — The Oklahoma City Thunder earned a huge Game 4 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Oklahoma City won the game 100-96 and now their Western Conference Semifinals series is even at two games apiece. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led Oklahoma City to victory.

Gilgeous-Alexander performed at an elite level. Mavericks stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving struggled to score in Game 4, but the Thunder’s star took care of business without question.

Shai scored 34 points on 14-27 shooting from the field. Gilgeous-Alexander also went 6-6 from the free throw line.

10 of his points came in the fourth quarter. Playing on the road clearly did not bother the Thunder superstar in clutch time. Gilgeous-Alexander converted on four of his seven shot attempts in the fourth quarter.

Doncic thinks the Mavs may need to make an adjustment as a result of Gilgeous-Alexander’s recent performance.

“Yeah, he was unbelievable,” Doncic “He kept making shots. Maybe at some point we gotta send a double-team… He’s just too good. Every shot he took was contested… He’s very good, he works on that a lot.”

The Thunder have placed extra emphasis on containing Doncic and Irving. Dallas is obviously still playing challenging defense on Gilgeous-Alexander, but sending a double-team his way may not be a bad idea. The Mavs could benefit from forcing Gilgeous-Alexander’s teammates to try to step up, especially in the big moments.

Mavericks trying to contain Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There is no perfect solution when it comes to defending Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He finished second in NBA MVP voting for a reason after all. And there are people around the NBA world who felt that he should have won the award.

Kyrie Irving was impressed with Shai’s effort on Monday.

“I feel like he was just taking advantage of what the defense gave him,” Irving said. “He was trusting his teammates. Those guys made timely shots down the stretch. I feel like we contained them for the majority of the game… Those last six minutes really dictated the rest of the game where we had an opportunity to at least create some separation. I had a few good shots at the rim… Luka had some good shots, other guys had good shots. They got out in transition which hurt us… Shai does play with no fear. When he’s playing like that, it galvanizes the group to a higher level.

“You can see their bench was getting into it. They were all quiet all game. Then all of the sudden they started to get into it in the fourth quarter… Now we look forward to going to OKC in another tough environment, tough game. It’s a competitor’s dream right there.”

So how will Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd attempt to find a way to contain Gilgeous-Alexander?

“He’s been great… Just gotta make it tough,” Kidd said. “He’s one of the top players in the world… We gotta be better. But I thought the guys did a good job. He’s one of the best players in the world and tonight he got to his sweet spots. Just gotta go back and look at that, make sure we can slow him down a little bit. We feel different guys at him, try to wear him down. Tonight, he made big shots.”

With the series tied 2-2 heading back to Paycom Center, Game 5 goes Wednesday night from OKC.



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