Led by Luka Doncic, Dallas qualified on Saturday evening for the NBA Western Conference final thanks to its 117-116 home success, during Game 6 (4-2), against Oklahoma City.

The Slovenian signed a triple-double with 29 points, ten rebounds and ten assists to allow his team to reach the last step in the West, as in 2022.

The Texans will face the winner of the other semifinal between defending champion Denver and Minnesota, who are tied 3-3 heading into a final matchup Sunday. For Oklahoma City, this is the end of the journey for a young team with a bright future.

The start of the match was to the advantage of Mark Daigneault’s men, elected coach of the year, thanks to thirty points scored in the first quarter, an orderly defense and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander solid at mid-distance.

A dynamic that gave the Thunder up to 11 points ahead at the start of the second quarter. But the gap was squandered in a few possessions, when Dallas adjusted the sights from afar and took the advantage in the middle of the quarter, by two small units.

So once again, the Oklahoma City defense tightened around Luka Doncic (seven lost balls) with aggressive two-man catches, which caused ball losses on the Texans side.

On the counterattack, the Thunder excelled and found their snipers well (47% behind the arc). A rain of three-point shots fell: five consecutive shots found the target to allow Oklahoma City to return to the locker room with a lead of 16 units (48-64).

“We knew that Dallas was going to try to accelerate and as always in these cases we were focused on making (defensive) stops,” reacted Luguentz Dort, Thunder winger, at the microphone of ESPN.

Dallas then changed its defensive system under the leadership of its coach Jason Kidd to move into zone. With success. Oklahoma City got lost in the lack of space, with movement becoming rarer on offense.

The Mavs came back to tie six minutes from the end of the game (97-97), before taking the advantage (115-110) one minute from time.

Moment chosen by Thunder ace Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to take matters into his own hands. A three-point basket, a free throw, as well as a lobbed pass for Chet Holmgren (115-116) allowed his team to get back in front.

But the effort was in vain, the OKC leader committing a decisive mistake in the final moments. PJ Washington scored the winning shots (117-116) for Dallas, who won amid a deafening noise.

“If I could have gone back, I would not have made a mistake on him, I would have let him score or miss his shot,” Gilgeous-Alexander regretted after the meeting, recognizing that sometimes “we make mistakes “.

“This team is huge, the players never complain, they work hard,” Luka Doncic told ESPN, who will find for a place in the grand final the Nuggets of regular season MVP Nikola Jokic or the leaping Timberwolves Anthony Edwards.