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Did Mavs Win Last Night? Luka Doncic Leads Mavericks to Crucial Game 5 Victory Over Thunder

Luka Doncic overcame injuries and a hostile crowd to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a decisive 104-92 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. This win gives the Mavericks a 3-2 series lead and a chance to close out the series at the American Airlines Center on Saturday, potentially advancing to the Western Conference Finals.

Doncic, battling through a sprained right knee, sore left ankle, Achilles issues, and a stiff back, displayed his vintage form. He posted a remarkable triple-double with 31 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. His performance was marked by precision shooting from beyond the arc and strategic shot selection against aggressive on-ball defense. Utilizing shot fakes, give-and-go plays, and maintaining a relentless pace in transition, Doncic effectively penetrated the paint and patiently distributed the ball against double teams.

“He was aggressive,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd commented. “He was making shots, taking shots. The deep 3, being able to get to the basket, playmaking for his bigs and also for the wings.”

Doncic’s standout moments included a stunning full-court alley-oop to Dereck Lively II and a critical block on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s floater to seal the game. Reflecting on his performance, Doncic said, “The old Luka, with a smile on my face. The whole team stepped up. I couldn’t do it without my teammates. Everybody that came on the floor gave 100% energy. We play as a team. We win as a team. We lose as a team.”

This win came after a disappointing Game 4 loss where Doncic scored just 18 points. Despite holding a 14-point lead in that game, the Mavericks were hindered by poor free-throw shooting and turnovers. Determined to recover, Doncic led the Mavericks to their second road win of the series.

“Our mentality, we know the last game we played against them at home, we let it go,” Doncic stated. “It was our mistakes and they hit shots. In the playoffs, it’s the first to four, you got to win before they do. So you got to go game by game.”

Doncic received significant support from his teammates, with Derrick Jones Jr. contributing a playoff career-high 19 points and P.J. Washington Jr. adding a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Mavericks’ collective focus and determination overwhelmed the Thunder, who struggled to contain Doncic’s onslaught.

“This team is special,” Doncic remarked. “We’ve only been together for what, five months? I’ve been having a lot of fun with this team.”

The win was a turning point in the series, putting the Mavericks in a favorable position to clinch the series in Game 6. Doncic’s resilience in overcoming his injuries and the hostile crowd added to his growing legend. Thunder fans’ chants of “Luka sucks!” only fueled his performance, with Doncic even engaging the crowd from the bench.

“I love it,” Doncic said of the chants. “If they want to chant ‘Luka sucks,’ it gets me going. It’s even better.”

Doncic’s mature approach to the game was evident, as he rarely engaged with the referees and focused his energy on leading his team. His efficient shooting night, going 12-22 from the floor and 5-11 from beyond the arc, was crucial in the Mavericks’ win.

“I just tried to focus on basketball. We played great defense,” Doncic said. “Some of the little stuff we didn’t do last game, we did today.”

Doncic’s leadership was pivotal, particularly in moments when the Mavericks’ momentum wavered. He was vocal and supportive, ensuring his teammates stayed focused and cohesive. “Yeah, I think it’s me and Kai – we’re the two leaders of the team,” Doncic acknowledged. “No matter what, they made a run and we stayed together, especially in the fourth quarter [when they’re] at home, which is very difficult. But we did, everybody talked and supported each other, and that’s what we need to do.”

Teammates noticed a different level of focus from Doncic even before the game began. Derrick Jones Jr. observed, “I saw him in warmups. He came out a little earlier, and he was knocking down the shots. I was just sitting back saying, ‘It’s going to be a long day for them.’ I’ve always been harping that 77 is amazing. Once he gets his rhythm — and he got it going — it’s tough to stop him.”

The Mavericks’ ability to bounce back from losses and perform under pressure is a testament to their resilience. With the series lead in hand, the Mavericks are now poised to advance to the Western Conference Finals with a win in Game 6. Doncic’s performance, combined with the team’s collective effort, has set the stage for a potential series-clinching game.

“We’ve got one more to win out of two games,” Doncic said. “That’s it. We’re up 3-2, but that’s still nothing. We’ve got to finish it and go with the same mentality at home.”

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