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P.J. Washington leads Mavericks to 2-1 series edge over Thunder

P.J. Washington leads Mavericks to Game 3 win over Thunder, series now 2-1. Washington scores 56 points in last two games.

P.J. Washington put on a stellar performance, scoring 27 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a hard-fought 105-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals matchup on Saturday in Dallas. This win gives the Mavericks a 2-1 series lead, marking their second consecutive victory.

Washington has been on fire, totaling 56 points over the past two games and sinking a remarkable 12 3-pointers, with five coming in Saturday's game. When asked about his confidence after these impressive performances, Washington remained humble, stating, "Even keeled. You can't get too high, you can't get too low."

Kyrie Irving also made a significant impact, contributing 22 points with eight crucial points in the fourth quarter. His efforts, including six consecutive points early in the final quarter, helped the Mavericks extend their lead to nine points with eight minutes remaining in the game.

On the Thunder's side, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the charge with an impressive 31 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 10 of 23 from the field. Despite their best efforts, the Thunder struggled to contain the Mavericks' offense, resorting to fouling Dereck Lively II, a 50.6% free-throw shooter during the regular season.

However, Lively stepped up when it mattered most, going 5 of 8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to help the Mavericks maintain their lead. Irving's clutch floater with 39 seconds left sealed the victory for Dallas, putting them up by five points.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd emphasized the importance of staying hungry and focused, noting that the team has not achieved anything significant yet. Luka Doncic also played a crucial role, contributing 22 points and 15 rebounds, while hitting 7 of 10 free throws.

Despite the Thunder's efforts, coach Mark Daigneault acknowledged that his team is not performing at their full potential. A key moment in the game occurred when Jalen Williams turned his ankle while guarding Irving, leading to a pivotal 3-pointer by Irving that sparked a 19-5 run for the Mavericks.

In the end, the Mavericks emerged victorious, with Doncic sealing the win with a clutch free throw. With standout performances from Washington, Irving, and Doncic, the Mavericks are looking to maintain their momentum and secure a spot in the next round of the playoffs.

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