Mavericks' third star in the making shines in Game 3 win over Thunder

Dallas Mavericks, P.J. Washington, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, P.J. Washington, Luka Doncic / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

Heading into Saturday afternoon's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Dallas Mavericks were coming off a massive Game 2 win on the road. Dallas won 119-110 in this game, and it was a huge response after a disappointing Game 1 loss.

The Mavs carried over their momentum from Game 2 into Game 3, as they took down the Thunder 105-101. After a much better Game 2, some of Luka Doncic's struggles from Game 1 returned as he finished with just 22 points on 7-17 shooting. Doncic still had some timely buckets and was fighting through pain all game long, but the performances of those around him stood out even more.

Kyrie Irving put the pedal to the medal in the second half and ended up finishing with 22 points, but the story of the game, once again was P.J. Washington.

P.J. Washington shines in Dallas' Game 3 win over Thunder

Washington finished with 27 points in the win while shooting 11-23 from the field and 5-12 from downtown, and that came after he scored 29 points in Game 2.

Washington started the game off hot, as his first bucket of the game was a slam over Chet Holmgren, and he never slowed down. He was letting it fly from downtown with confidence, and his up-and-down shooting from the regular season is a thing of the past.

He has been a huge X-factor for Dallas throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs, and his scoring has unlocked another dimension to the Mavs offense. Earlier in the season, Jason Kidd flirted with the idea of Washington becoming the third scorer, and that's exactly what he did in Game 3.

He is budding into Dallas' third star in front of everyone's eyes, and his fit next to Doncic and Irving is excellent. Washington continues to show confidence from both downtown and scoring at the rim, and his ability to guard multiple positions is priceless.

Washington is on the trajectory to become Dallas' third star that they need next to Doncic and Irving, and he will look to keep this offensive dominance going as they play the Thunder in Game 4 on Monday.

For all the latest on P.J. Washington and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned.