Mavericks vs. Thunder highlights, takeaways: Luka Doncic, hot-shooting Dallas steal Game 2 in Oklahoma City

The Dallas Mavericks evened up their Western Conference semifinal series with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night with a 119-110 road victory, powered by some red-hot shooting and timely buckets from their superstars. Mavs guard Luka Doncic shook off a subpar Game 1 performance to finish with 29 points on 11-of-21 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and seven assists.

The Mavericks went a pristine 18-for-37 from the 3-point line, with P.J. Washington taking the lead with a playoff career-high 29 points on 7-for-11 3-point shooting. He, Doncic, Josh Green and Tim Hardaway Jr. combined to go 17-for-28 (61%) from beyond the arc, which allowed Dallas to take home the victory despite just nine points from Kyrie Irving.

Though they never stopped fighting, OKC was behind the eight-ball all night long. The Thunder took the lead after a strong push to begin the third quarter, but Dallas answered by creating some distance that OKC just could not close. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was spectacular, putting up 33 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, while Jalen Williams added 20 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Game 3 is set for Saturday afternoon, with the winner potentially taking control of the series.

Here are a few takeaways from Thursday night's game.

Raining 3s in OKC

When your team makes 18 3-pointers at a 49% clip during a playoff game, chances are you're going to win. The fact that it was the largely the supporting cast raining in 3s all night long only opened up things for Doncic and Irving throughout the game. If Mavericks floor-spacers like Washington, Green and Hardaway are making shots, it leaves the Thunder with a difficult predicament -- play Doncic and Irving one-on-one and live with the consequences, or help off them and leave a shooter wide open. When they chose to help, Irving made them pay with 11 assists -- five of which went to 3-point shooters.

With scorers as dynamic as Doncic and Irving, it's nearly impossible to stop the Mavericks when their role players are hitting shots. The question is whether they can keep it up as the series progresses.

Luka bounces back

Doncic is so good that we tend to judge him against his own standard, but he has experienced some pretty subpar games this postseason, including Game 1's 6-for-19 shooting performance. He clearly came out on Thursday night intent to get back to his usual ways. He took control in the first quarter as he led the Mavs to a 13-2 lead, setting the tone for the type of night OKC was in for.

Doncic scored 16 points in the opening frame on 4-of-5 3-point shooting, and though he didn't have the best second and third quarters, he showed up when Dallas needed him in crunch time. Because the Mavs' role players were knocking down their 3-pointers, the Thunder had to limit their help on Doncic, leaving the opportunity for phenomenal shots like this dagger pirouette fadeaway in the fourth.

This is the Doncic that we're used to seeing, and if he's the one that shows up for the rest of the series, the Thunder will be in major trouble.

Giddey gone?

OKC coach Mark Daigneault elected to insert Aaron Wiggins in the place of regular starter Josh Giddey to start the third quarter, and you have to wonder if the decision could carry over for the rest of the series. Giddey's lack of shooting prowess allows defenders to sag off of him, and the Thunder have dealt with that dynamic all season long. Daigneault has started other players like Cason Wallace in Giddey's place after halftime in the past, so it will be interesting to see what he has planned for Game 3.

Giddey was minus-20 in 11 minutes on Thursday night, while Wiggins was minus-1 in a game that they lost by 10. Wiggins, who shot 49% from 3-point range this season (on limited attempts) compared to Giddey's 34%, was all over the court in Game 2, making hustle plays and grabbing rebounds to keep his team energized.

If Daigneault sends Giddey to the bench on Saturday, Wiggins will likely be the choice.

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FINAL - Mavericks 119, Thunder 110

(Series tied, 1-1)

The Mavericks absolutely lit the nets on fire on Thursday night (18 for 37 from 3-point range) to even their second-round series with the Thunder at a game apiece. Dallas probably made some shots they normally wouldn't, but they deserve a tremendous amount of credit for fighting back every time OKC looked like it was poised to take control of the game.

Luka Doncic had a bounce-back game after a subpar Game 1 performance, and the Mavericks were able to win the game despite just nine points from Kyrie Irving. Forward P.J. Washington was the X-factor, pouring in a playoff career-high 29 points on 7 for 11 3-point shooting.

The series now shifts to Dallas for Game 3 on Saturday.

Notable stats:

  • Luka Doncic: 29 pts, 10 reb, 7 ast, 5-8 3P
  • P.J. Washington: 29 pts, 11 reb, 4 ast, 7-11 3P
  • Kyrie Irving: 9 pts, 11 ast, 2-8 FG
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 33 pts, 12 reb, 8 ast
  • Jalen Williams: 20 pts, 4 ast, 4 reb
  • Chet Holmgren: 11 pts, 6 ast, 6 reb, 2 blk
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Jalen Williams with the huge putback

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All OKC to start the third

The Thunder have come out with tremendous energy in the fourth quarter, cutting the 10-point lead to just four in fewer than two minutes. Jalen Williams and Aaron Wiggins have been the catalysts, and they're doing all this with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the bench.

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End of 3rd quarter - Mavericks 99, Thunder 89

OKC came charging back to start the quarter, but credit to Dallas for answering the run and distancing themselves once again. Tim Hardaway Jr. was the sparkplug off the bench, while Aaron Wiggins provided some good minutes in place of Josh Giddey to start the third quarter. The fourth will be time for the stars, as you can expect Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to go to work.

Notable stats:

  • Luka Doncic: 22 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast, 4-7 3P
  • P.J. Washington: 25 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast, 7-10 3P
  • Kyrie Irving: 7 pts, 10 ast, 2-7 FG
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 26 pts, 8 ast, 7 reb
  • Jalen Williams: 16 pts, 4 ast, 1 blk
  • Chet Holmgren: 9 pts, 5 ast, 4 reb, 3 TO
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THJ takeover

They don't call them "microwave" scorers for nothing. Tim Hardaway Jr. has been electric off the bench in the second half, scoring 10 points in just over a minute. He's been the spark plug for this Mavericks run after the Thunder made things close to start the quarter.

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Wiggins making impact

Aaron Wiggins got the second-half start in place of Josh Giddey, and he's made OKC coach Mark Daigneault look like a smart man. He made a 3-pointer and has generally been all over the place with hustle plays and defense. He's also been putting some pressure on the rim off of closeouts, making the Dallas think a bit more than they were with Giddey out there.

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Halftime - Mavericks 68, Thunder 62

We all need a breather after that 24-minute stretch. The pace is frenzied as both teams have gone on significant runs throughout the first half. On the Mavs side it's been Luka Doncic and P.J. Washington doing most of the damage offensively. For OKC, no surprise that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams have been the main attractions to start. We'll see what adjustments the coaches make out of the locker rooms.

Notable stats:

  • Luka Doncic: 18 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast, 4-6 3P
  • P.J. Washington: 19 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast, 5-8 3P
  • Kyrie Irving: 4 pts, 7 ast, 1-4 FG
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 18 pts, 4 ast, 8-13 FG
  • Jalen Williams: 14 pts, 3 ast, 1 blk
  • Jaylin Williams: 8 pts, 2 reb, 2-3 3P
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Three-J Washington

P.J. Washington simply cannot miss, going 5 of 7 from 3-point range in 15 minutes to start the game. He has a game-high 19 points, which also happens to be the most he's ever scored in a playoff game. Many of the open looks are being generated by all of the attention commanded by Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Someone has to be left open, and it's been Washington so far in this one. He hasn't let the opportunities pass him by.

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End of 1st quarter - Mavericks 36, Thunder 32

In an energetic and exciting first quarter, the Mavericks came out absolutely on fire, led by Luka Doncic's brilliance. The Thunder have to be somewhat encouraged that the Mavs are shooting 8 for 13 on 3-pointers and they're still only trailing by four. That's because Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been nearly as great as Doncic in the first quarter. We'll see if the Thunder continue to go with the double-big lineup of Chet Holmgren and Jaylin Williams that had success in the first.

Notable stats:

  • Luka Doncic: 16 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast, 4-5 3P
  • P.J. Washington: 11 pts, 3 reb, 2 ast, 3-3 3P
  • Kyrie Irving: 1 pt, 2 ast, 1 blk
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 10 pts, 2 ast, 4-8 FG
  • Jalen Williams: 6 pts, 2 ast, 1 blk
  • Jaylin Williams: 8 pts, 2 reb, 2-3 3P
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Run answers run

The Mavericks came out red-hot and built a 13-2 lead, knocking down 3-pointers left and right behind the orchestration of Luka Doncic. This is the NBA, so you knew OKC was going to respond, but we just didn't know it was going to be this quickly. The young Thunder immediately went on a 13-6 run of their own to get within four points at the first timeout. This should be a fun one.