3 Studs, 2 duds from Mavericks' thrilling Game 5 win over Thunder

Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II, Luka Doncic / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
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On Wednesday night, the Dallas Mavericks played their biggest game of the season.

Dallas was coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 when they had the chance to take over the series, and they responded accordingly in Game 5 with a 104-92 win on the road in Oklahoma City.

This game was a nail-biter from the opening tip to the final buzzer regardless of what the score was, and the Mavs were able to pull out the win when they needed it most.

3 Studs, 2 duds from Mavericks' thrilling Game 5 win over Thunder

If Dallas lost, they would have had their backs against the wall in Game 6, and now they have the chance to close out this series on their home floor on Saturday.

This will be the second straight series in which the Mavs will have the chance to close out the series at home, and hopefully, their black City Edition jerseys can bring them good luck once again on Saturday.

With all of that being said, here are three studs and two duds from the Dallas Mavericks' pivotal Game 5 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

5. Stud - Dereck Lively II

Both of the Dallas Mavericks' bigs, Dereck Lively II and Daniel Gafford, were great in this game, but Lively II may have added a slightly bigger impact than Gafford.

Lively II finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds, one steal, and one block while shooting 3-4 from the field, and all three of his makes were off lobs.

Lively II's chemistry with Luka Doncic continues to grow every single game, and they are always on the same page when Doncic drives to the bucket. If Lively II is anywhere near the rim, Doncic finds him in the perfect position.

A big part of Lively II's game was him knocking down free throws in the clutch once again, and he went 5-6 from the free-throw line overall. The Mavs need Lively II to continue to bring this confidence and energy, and he grabbed a couple of rebounds in the clutch that helped seal the win.

Having two bigs who can impact the game is massive for Dallas, and they'll need another big game from Lively II and Gafford to close the series out on Saturday.