Thunder: 3 studs, 1 dud from terrific Game 4 win vs the Mavericks

May 13, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward P.J. Washington (25) yells at Oklahoma
May 13, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward P.J. Washington (25) yells at Oklahoma / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Studs: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, Cason Wallace

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort boast the most playoff experience among all players in the rotation for the Thunder. Geared with an unrelenting ethos, the two showed their value to steal the win. 

Gilgeous-Alexander had a career night, scoring 34 points, the most in his playoff career. SGA put the Thunder on his shoulders offensively when it mattered most as he put up 24 points in the second half, including some key baskets in the final three moments that swung the momentum towards the Thunder side. 

"“We just stuck to it,” SGA said about the fourth quarter run. “We just plugged away, took it possession by possession. And eventually the game turned for us.”"

It was the type of performance that defines one’s legend. After what he did in the second half, Gilgeous-Alexander easily cemented his name in the Thunder’s rich lore. 

Meanwhile, Lu Dort was the defensive star of the game, sending Doncic to jail every time he held possession for the Mavericks. Dort’s relentless ethos, coupled with his insane body of work, made him a physical nightmare for Doncic, who was seen constantly nagging about calls (and non-calls) in Game 4. 

His hustle on defense was key in stomping the Mavericks’ hopes of going up 3-1. 

Rookie Cason Wallace also deserved an omission as he forced multiple missed shots on Irving in the fourth quarter to deliver the necessary stops the Thunder needed to pull off the win. 

Wallace and Dort also contributed crucial three-pointers in the final period on top of their defensive mastery, which is always a welcome addition to the Thunder’s winning performances.