3 Studs, 2 duds from Mavericks' pivotal Game 3 win over Thunder

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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3. Stud - P.J. Washington

The biggest surprise of the Dallas Mavericks series against the Oklahoma City Thunder so far has been the dominance of P.J. Washington.

Washington had a good series against the Clippers as he averaged 10.8 points per game and was phenomenal on defense, but his performance against the Thunder has been a completely different story.

Washington is averaging 22 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from downtown. He has been the best shooter on the team in this series, and his hot shooting continued into Sunday afternoon.

Washington finished with 27 points while shooting 11-23 from the field and 5-12 from downtown, and the Mavs emphasized getting him involved early. He started the game off with a dunk over Chet Holmgren, and this got the ball rolling for him.

Kyrie Irving spoke about how getting Washington involved early gets his confidence going in the right direction, and that's exactly what happened in this game. Washington has consistently drilled threes all the way around the arc, and his two-way ability makes him the potential third star that the Mavs have needed alongside Luka Doncic and Irving.

The Thunder's game plan in both of the last two games hasn't been on limiting Washington threes, and he is making them pay. If Washington can have another big game in Game 4, the Mavs may just take a 3-1 lead.