Doncic triple-double, Dallas defense spark 104-92 win in Oklahoma City to go up 3-2

Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Five
Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Five

Dallas had its defense clicking — for all four quarters this game.

It also had a monster game from Luka Doncic — a 31-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound triple-double that was a masterclass game when the Mavericks needed it the most. He said the OKC crowd's "Luka Sucks" chants, "It gets me going."

The result was a 104-92 Mavericks win on the road that has them up 3-2 on the Thunder with a chance to close out the series in Game 6 in Dallas on Saturday.

"This team is special. We've only been together five months. I've been having a lot of fun with this team," Doncic said postgame.

What Dallas has found that has worked in this series is a pack-the-paint defense that is taking away Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's preferred drive-and-kick game — OKC shot a league-best 38.9% from 3 this season because they worked inside out and got shooters clean looks. Dallas has taken away gavet strategy and the Thunder shooters are struggling — 10-of,-40 from 3 in Game 5, 17-of-67 from beyodthe arc over the last two games.

"I felt like we played well offensively tonight. We got a lot of good looks we usually make," Gilgeous-Alexander said.

Oklahoma City came back in the fourth quarter in Game 4 because Gilgeous-Alexander started taking and making from the midrange (10-of-14), but he was 2-of-4 in Game 5.

Dallas' defense takes some credit for that, and while Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively II have provided rim protection, what matters most for this team is that the guys who are usually targets have stepped up with defensive effort. Like Doncic.

Oklahoma City's defense dared Derrick Jones Jr. to shoot and so he did, hitting 3-of-5 from 3 on his way to 19 points. Kyrie Irving added a dozen.

Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 on the night on 12-of-22 shooting, but he needed more help. Chet Holmgren scored 13, while both Jalen Williams and Lu Dort had a dozen.

Mark Daigneault finally made the switch to start Isaiah Joe in front of Josh Giddey, but Joe responded with just six points on nine shot attempts.

This looked like the Mavericks' night from the start.

After a rough fourth quarter in Game 4, Doncic and the Mavericks came out with a real pace to start Game 5 (and this was the best Doncic has moved all series). He had 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the first half. The Mavericks movement set up easy buckets along the way and Dallas led by 10 at the half.

Oklahoma City made some runs, but never really threatened.

The Thunder will need to hit shots to be a threat in Game 6, or the No. 1 seed will be out in the second round.