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Irving, Doncic lead Mavs over Thunder

LOS ANGELES, United States -- The Dallas Mavericks dug deep in the second half to erase a double-digit deficit, holding off the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-101 to take a 2-1 lead in their NBA Western Conference semi-final series on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time.)

Kyrie Irving scored 14 of his 22 points in the second half, including a floater with 39.3 seconds left that pushed Dallas' lead to five points.

Luka Doncic scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the face of another bruising defensive effort from the Thunder.

The Slovenian star took a hard fall flat on his back after a mid-air collision with Luguentz Dort and said he tweaked his sprained right knee as the game ended.

"We got the win, that's all that matters," said Doncic, who when asked what was hurting the most replied "everything."

"I think I'm battling," he said, adding that a bit of extra rest without travel before the Mavs host game four on Monday was welcome.

P.J. Washington led the Mavs' scoring with 27 points and Dereck Lively added 12 off the bench to help Dallas withstand a 31-point performance from Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Both teams struggled to get their offenses firing in the first quarter, but Dallas out-rebounded Oklahoma City 17-5 and dominated in the paint to take a three-point lead through one period.

Dallas continued to control the boards, but Oklahoma City connected on 60% of their shots in the second to take a 52-51 lead at halftime, pushing their advantage to 65-55 with an 11-0 scoring burst in the third.

- Irving 'doing it all' -
The Mavs responded with a 16-0 run that featured a huge dunk by Washington and was capped by his three-pointer that pushed the hosts' lead to 71-65.

The run energized the American Airlines Center crowd, but Oklahoma City quickly cut the lead to one before the Mavs responded again, Irving connecting on a pair of three-pointers and feeding Daniel Gafford for a dunk before Tim Hardaway Jr. closed the period with a three-pointer that put Dallas up 82-78 going into the final quarter.

"We started to get some stops and then we started to run," Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. "We relied on our defense, we made some shots and our energy picked

Read more on philstar.com