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Jalen Williams explains why he brings energy and interacts with fans, crowd

As Cason Wallace collected a missed 3-pointer, Jalen Williams found a lane and sprinted toward the basket for the vicious one-hand slam that served as the dagger on Thursday night.

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 126-119 win over the Dallas Mavericks resembled a playoff atmosphere. A national TV audience gained a glimpse at the homecourt advantage fans usually produce for OKC.

“Definitely felt like a playoff atmosphere, our crowd’s been really good this year,” Williams said. “That was dope. It was definitely a competitive game. You can kinda feel the tension these last 15, 16 games. I think everybody’s trying to settle into a spot, so a lot of these games are gonna feel like that.

“That’s always good to have these reps before getting into the playoffs and it definitely felt like one of the most competitive games of this year.”

In his return from a one-game absence, Williams scored 27 points and had three blocks. His impact was felt immediately; he was the Thunder’s second-best player in their impressive win.

As he has all season, Williams embraced the crowd’s excitement, cheering them on after massive plays. The second-chance basket was one of the more animated reactions from him. When asked about his energy, he said he tries to make every game a memorable experience for fans.

”We have really good fans here and I like being here,” Williams said. “It’s always fun to just be able to interact. Sam Presti made a good point to us just talking about how you don’t know what people are going through to be able to get to the games and stuff like that.

“I think anytime you can kinda engage with the fans during the game, I think it kinda leaves everybody with a cool impression of the game. You don’t know whose first game it is or what the circumstances might be for people coming here, so anytime I can interact with fans, I think it’s really fun.”

This is a thoughtful mindset for Williams, who continues to be the Thunder’s lead energy guy. As OKC continues to ascend, there will be plenty of chances for the 22-year-old to create more moments like his game-sealing jam against the Mavericks.

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire