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Tuesday NBA playoffs scores Thunder figure out Mavs Celtics depth shines

Thunder pull away in Game 1 win over Mavericks after rotation tweak. Isaiah Joe's impact off the bench sparks OKC victory.

The Oklahoma City Thunder's victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 showcased a significant shift in momentum during the third quarter. Coach Mark Daigneault's decision to substitute Isaiah Joe for Josh Giddey proved to be a game-changer, as Joe's floor-spacing abilities helped ignite a 14-4 run that propelled the Thunder to victory. The impact of Giddey's minutes and Joe's performance off the bench will be crucial factors to monitor as the series progresses.

Cason Wallace and Aaron Wiggins emerged as standout performers for the Thunder, showcasing their skills and contributing significantly to the team's success. Jalen Williams, despite a slow start, delivered a stellar fourth-quarter performance that sealed the victory for Oklahoma City. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's dominant performance in the first half set the tone for the Thunder, as he displayed his scoring prowess and ability to draw fouls effectively.

On the Mavericks' side, Luka Dončić's struggles on offense have been a cause for concern, with his performance noticeably impacted by a lingering knee injury. The team's inability to contain Gilgeous-Alexander and make defensive adjustments proved costly in Game 1. Coach Jason Kidd's decision to go small in the closing moments of the game did not yield the desired results, highlighting the challenges the Mavericks face in containing the Thunder's offensive firepower.

In a similar fashion, the Boston Celtics' strong start against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 showcased the team's ability to build substantial leads early in games. Despite Jayson Tatum's struggles on offense, Derrick White and Jaylen Brown stepped up to lead the Celtics to victory. White's exceptional shooting performance from beyond the arc proved to be a game-changer, as he provided a much-needed offensive spark for Boston.

The Cavaliers' reliance on perimeter shooting and their struggles to convert from deep have been ongoing issues for the team. With key players like Darius Garland needing to step up and deliver consistent scoring, Cleveland faces an uphill battle against a Celtics team that excels at spacing the floor and capitalizing on outside shooting opportunities. The absence of Jarrett Allen due to injury further complicates matters for the Cavaliers, as they look to make adjustments heading into Game 2.

As the series progresses, both the Thunder and the Celtics will need to maintain their momentum and make strategic adjustments to secure victories in their respective matchups. The performances of key players, the effectiveness of coaching decisions, and the ability to execute on both ends of the floor will be critical factors that determine the outcome of these closely contested playoff series.

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