4 Studs, 1 dud from Mavericks' series-clinching win over Thunder

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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On Saturday night, the Dallas Mavericks had the opportunity to close out the Oklahoma City Thunder on their home floor after an exciting Game 5 win earlier in the week on the road.

Luka Doncic and the Mavs' momentum from their Game 5 win carried over into Saturday night as they defeated the Thunder 117-116, and now the Mavs will play the winner of the Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets Game 7 which will be played later today.

The No. 5 seed Mavs have now beaten two seeds higher than them (LA Clippers were the No. 4 seed and Thunder were the No. 1 seed), and just like they did in the 2022 NBA Playoffs, they are proving everyone wrong.

4 Studs, 1 dud from Mavericks' series-clinching win over Thunder

The Mavs had an extremely slow start as the Thunder got off to an early 13-4 lead less than three minutes into the game, and the Mavs overcame that to grab the big win behind a 16-point second-half comeback.

Here are three studs and two duds from the Dallas Mavericks' series-clinching Game 6 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

5. Stud - Derrick Jones Jr.

In this series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks wing Derrick Jones Jr. has been phenomenal and is ultimately earning himself millions of dollars as he'll become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Jones Jr. reportedly wants to come back to the Mavs, and the Mavs feel the same way about him, but his price tag is going to be much higher than last summer. Dallas signed Jones Jr. to a veteran's minimum one-year contract last summer, and he quickly outplayed that contract as a Mav.

In Game 6, Jones Jr. finished with 22 points while shooting 8-13 from the field and 4-6 from downtown. His strong start to the second half helped the Mavs stay within striking distance of the Thunder, and his play on both ends continues to be dynamic.

Although Shai Gilgeous-Alexander still finished with 36 points and shot 14-25 from the field, Jones Jr. continues to give his all in that matchup, and his improved offense is the cherry on top for an excellent playoffs for him so far.

He has been knocking down open shots, finishing above the rim in transition, and being a back-door lob threat for Luka Doncic. Jones Jr. has been the glue guy in the starting lineup all season long, and him stepping up in the playoffs has been huge.