Chet Holmgren name-drops Thunder teammate as catalyst for Game 1 win vs Mavs

Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One
Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

Tuesday evening, the OKC Thunder seemingly picked up right where they left off from their round one matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans, as they effortlessly breezed on by the 50-win Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of these Western Conference Semifinals.

From the jump, Mark Daigneault's club came out with a roaring intensity, as they held superstars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving to a lowly 8 points on 3-for-9 shooting in the first quarter and forced the duo into five turnovers.

Coming into the series, slowing down the aforementioned pair of ballers was being tabbed as a key factor to better OKC's odds of winning, and right from the jump they certainly prioritized such an agenda which, in turn, helped them close out the debut outing by a final score of 117-95.

Leading the charge in this department was none other than defensive extraordinaire, Lu Dort, who shadowed Doncic for virtually the entire night. Following the Game 1 win, Chet Holmgren shed light on his teammates' efforts on the less glamorous side of the ball, noting that his energy early on rubbed off on the rest of them and, thus, helped play a major role in their ultimate triumph.

Chet Holmgren praises Lu Dort's efforts in Game 1 win for Thunder

"Lu Dort was on time for the game today and we all just came together around him and put together a team effort tonight on the defensive end."

Chet Holmgren

The Thunder guard would square off against Doncic for essentially his entire 25 minutes of action on the night and would hold him to a pedestrian stat-line of 19 points on 31.6 percent shooting from the floor and 12.5 percent shooting from distance while coughing up five turnovers along the way.

On the flip-side, Dort would wrap up Game 1 with 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assists, and 2 steals and would register a +18 plus-minus rating, the second-highest mark behind only superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's +29.

While there are still some things that must be adjusted heading into Thursday's Game 2 (foul troubles, shooting woes, etc.), should the 25-year-old continue to play at this level of defense, it's going to be a long series for Doncic and Dallas.