National

NBA playoffs: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander powers Thunder rally past Mavs to tie series at 2-2

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander didn't get much offensive help from his teammates Monday night.

He didn't need it.

The Thunder All-Star powered a rally from a 14-point first-half deficit to lead Oklahoma City to a 100-96 win over the Dallas Mavericks Monday night. With the win, the Thunder tied the Western Conference semifinals series at 2-2 to avoid going back to Oklahoma City on the brink of elimination.

In a grind of a game for both teams, Gilgeous-Alexander was the star of the show on offense in a 34-point effort. He helped lead the Thunder back from a 22-8 first-quarter deficit then powered a 9-0 fourth-quarter run that put the Thunder up, 89-86. Oklahoma City didn't trail again.

The Thunder struggled for much of the night against a stifling Dallas defense that repeatedly challenged Oklahoma City efforts in the paint. But Gilgeous-Alexander thrived while All-Stars Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving struggled on offense for the Mavericks.

Dončić had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line in the final seconds. But he missed the front end of two shots with Dallas trailing, 96-94 with 10.1 seconds remaining. Gilgeous-Alexander went on to ice the game with a pair of free throws with 1.4 seconds remaining to secure the four-point win.