January 1, 2020 / 3:58 AM / 20 days ago

Paul rallies Thunder over Mavs for 3rd straight win

EditorsNote: fixes “Luka” in fifth graf

Dec 31, 2019; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) warms up before the start of their game against the Dallas Mavericks at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Paul scored 17 points — including 13 in the final 4:31 — to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a come-from-behind, 106-101 home win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

With less than three minutes remaining, the Thunder trailed by seven.

But then Oklahoma City reeled off a 14-2 run — fueled in large part by Paul — to end the game.

The win was the third in a row and seventh in the last eight games for the Thunder.

Dallas had a chance to regain the lead in the final minute, but Danilo Gallinari tipped the ball away from the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic right into the arms of the Thunder’s Steven Adams.

Oklahoma City converted at the free-throw line to put the game away.

Two players who were questionable going into the day — Gallinari and Dennis Schroder — led the Thunder with 20 points each.

Gallinari returned after missing four games due to ankle soreness. Schroder missed Sunday’s game because of ankle soreness.

Doncic scored 35 points to lead all scorers but struggled from behind the arc, going just 3 of 16 on 3-point attempts. He was 9 of 13 from inside the arc. Doncic added 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Doncic dominated at the start, scoring 17 first-quarter points to help the Mavericks build a 12-point lead 12 minutes into the game.

The Thunder closed the first half with a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to one going into the half.

Three Oklahoma City players produced double-doubles. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Nerlens Noel had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Adams had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The loss was the second in a row for the Mavericks, who were without Kristaps Porzingis for just the second time this season. He was a late scratch due to right knee soreness.

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The Mavericks were also without Tim Hardaway Jr., who missed the game after sustaining a hamstring injury early in a Sunday road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Oklahoma City’s Hamidou Diallo played for the first time since Nov. 22. He missed 17 games due to a hyperextended right elbow. Diallo played 19 minutes and scored four points.

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