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In a critical Game 4 on Monday in their Western Conference semifinals matchup with Oklahoma City, the Mavericks led 86-80 with just under six minutes remaining.
Just as it looked like the game was slipping away from the Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led his team on a 20-10 surge to close out a win in hostile territory.
With the series tied 2-2, the teams head back to Oklahoma City for a pivotal Game 5 on Wednesday. Let’s break it down and make a pick.
Mavericks vs. Thunder odds

Spread: Mavericks +4 (-110), Thunder -4 (-110)
Moneyline: Mavericks +150, Thunder -180
Total: Over 213 (-100), Under 213 (-110)

Odds via bet365
Mavericks breakdown
On their way to Monday’s Game 4 defeat, the Mavericks had several things go wrong for them, including an abysmal performance at the charity stripe, where Dallas shot just 12-of-23 (52%) compared to OKC’s 23-of-24 (96%). Luka Doncic missed a key free throw late in the fourth quarter in a spot where, if he had made both, Dallas would have tied the game at 96.
Doncic struggled throughout Game 4, finishing with 18 points on 6–of-20 shooting (30%) and 2-of-9 from 3-point range (22%).
His 38/31/67 shooting splits for the playoffs are far from his regular-season efficiency. Whether it’s due to injuries, Lu Dort’s elite defense or a combination of both, the bottom line remains the same — he needs to be better for Dallas to win the series.
Kyrie Irving also had a quiet Game 4, finishing with just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting (36%), and the Mavs would love for him to return to the form he showed in the first-round win over the Clippers. P.J. Washington deserves a ton of credit for helping his team stay alive; he’s averaging 21.7 points per game on 49% shooting for the series.
Luka Doncic needs to step up his game for the Mavericks to have a chance in Game 5. (Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)
Thunder breakdown
Gilgeous-Alexander finished second in MVP voting this season in a breakthrough campaign, but many wondered how his game would translate to postseason basketball. So far, so good.
SGA has been brilliant in this series, averaging 31.7 points on 49% shooting despite constant attention from the Mavericks’ defense.
He was clutch down the stretch of Game 4, logging 10 points and four assists over the game’s final six minutes. As Doncic faltered, Gilgeous-Alexander was the player who got his team to the finish line despite the Thunder’s offense shooting just 38% from the field and 26% from the 3-point line. All non-SGA players in Game 4 hit just 21-of-65 (32%) from the field.
Rookie center Chet Holmgren delivered, however, with 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. His defensive presence is immeasurable as he erases shots around the rim while maintaining the mobility to extend to the perimeter if needed.
I expected that the Thunder would need more out of Jalen Williams in Game 4 to get the win, but he finished with just 14 points on 5-of-19 shooting (26%). Williams is capable of another level of production, and as the series shifts back to OKC, I’m excited to see if he can elevate his game.
The Thunder only played Josh Giddey 12 minutes in Game 4, and it’s fair to wonder if he plays at all in Game 5. The team is clearly better with their bench guards, such as Cason Wallace, Aaron Wiggins and Isaiah Joe, on the court, as they provide shooting and perimeter defense. Wallace, in particular, has acquitted himself well in this series for being just 20 years old.
Mavericks vs. Thunder pick
The Mavericks had a chance to close out Game 4 with a win and sit firmly in the driver’s seat going into Game 5. Instead, they let the game slip away due to missed free throws and Gilgeous-Alexander outplaying Doncic down the stretch.
SGA has been the best player in this series, and I’m banking on another exceptional performance from him in Game 5. I expect the Thunder to deliver an emphatic win on their home court to take a 3-2 lead back to Dallas for Game 6.
Best bet: Thunder -4 (-110 at DraftKings)

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