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The Rundown: Thunder break skid, Mavs thrash Warriors

April 28, 2021, 3:00 PM ● Chuck Araneta

Lu Dort and the Thunder were able to arrest their 14-game slide by beating the Celtics, while the Mavericks dominated the Warriors.

Scoreboard

Thunder 119, Celtics 115
Bucks 114, Hornets 104
Trail Blazers 133, Pacers 112
Nets 116, Raptors 103
Timberwolves 114, Rockets 107
Mavericks 133, Warriors 103

What went down

The way Oklahoma City Thunder’s Lugentz Dort burst into the basketball scene by going toe-to-toe with James Harden in the NBA Bubble last season is the stuff that makes basketball Twitter nerds smile gleefully.

This season has been tough for Dort and the rest of the Thunder, though. Mired in a 14-game losing streak entering their match with the Boston Celtics, the Thunder were staring at the possibility of setting a new franchise record for consecutive games lost. On paper, the skid was understandable. When the franchise traded away Chris Paul in the offseason, it was a clear sign that the Thunder were finally ready to cut ties with the past and embrace the future. They have been doing it by investing in picks and trading key players for more shots at picking a potential franchise superstar. But in turn, it has led to a bunch of losses and virtually a lost season.

As the season mercifully comes to an end for OKC, their remaining games are all about building chemistry, camaraderie, and possibly the best shot at a high lottery pick. So in that light, losing 15 straight games doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world.

But don’t tell that to Dort, though. Behind an inspired 24-point performance, the Thunder prevailed against Boston, 119-115. Darius Bazley also chipped in 21 points for the Thunder, who played once again with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who has been out for more than a month with a foot injury.

In the long run, this win will seem inconsequential when measured against the overall record of the Thunder. But for players like Dort, who have had to scratch and claw for every moment they have in the league, this is the type of wins that remind them that they deserve to be here in the league.

Big-time baller

Here’s all you need to know about the Dallas-Golden State game: the Mavericks at one point when on a 28-0 run.

Twenty. Eight. To. Zero. Run.

Luka Doncic scored 39 points, tallied six rebounds and dished eight assists. Carry on.

What he said

''Biggest game of the year and it was over before it started." — Steve Kerr, whose team trailed by as many as 43 points to the Mavericks.

Did you see that?

The Timberwolves may have not had the season they wanted, but there are still many reasons to be hopeful. One of those is Karl Anthony-Towns, who has seemingly overcome his own personal problems to submit another wonderful season. If he’s doing this on the break, then he must be feeling pretty good.

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