Skip to main content

Three Takeaways From the OKC Thunder’s Star-Powered Win Against Dallas

Oklahoma City got big contributions from its best players in an important win.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

The Thunder have that dog in them.

After Oklahoma City’s 126-119 win against the Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Williams barked with fans on the way back to the locker room. It was that kind of night for Williams, who finished with 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting.

Kyrie Irving led Dallas with 36 points and 12 assists as his team’s lone star on the floor. Although Dallas center Daniel Gafford couldn’t make history, he added 19 points and 15 rebounds while causing issues inside for Chet Holmgren.

Meanwhile, Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander outdueled Irving with 31 points, nine rebounds and five steals. Those two led the Thunder to a win in a back-and-forth affair.

Although Dallas did all it could to stay in the game, Oklahoma City’s defense wreaked havoc with 10 steals and seven blocks.

Let’s dive into three lessons that can be learned from yesterday’s game:


Jalen Williams is a Star

Williams’ night was another indication of his immense potential. He finished with 27 points, but his scoring impact was larger than the raw numbers.

His seven straight points in the first quarter gave Oklahoma City a much-needed boost. He also dropped 12 points in the fourth quarter, including a powerful dunk to close the game.

Add in his two emphatic blocks in transition, and his prowess as a two-way player made all the difference for the Thunder.

Health is the No. 1 Priority

Two nights after the Thunder fell to the Indiana Pacers without Jalen Williams, he made a significant impact in a much-needed win. Of course, the win came against a Mavericks team without Luka Doncic.

Williams’ energy and effort were missed against the Pacers, and he reminded everyone how important he is to the Thunder. It also served as a reminder that health, while the most uncontrollable part of the NBA, is one of the most critical pieces to winning.

Without Doncic, the Thunder keyed in on Irving and made life difficult as the Pacers did to Gilgeous-Alexander.

The Thunder’s Bench Depth is a Luxury

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault played eight guys off the bench in Thursday’s win. Mike Muscala and Lindy Waters III only played 12 seconds, but having 12-second guys isn’t something to take for granted.

The Thunder have plenty of options to plug in for different situations. Cason Wallace and Aaron Wiggins were ready when Lu Dort got into foul trouble. Kenrich Williams and Jaylin Williams gave Oklahoma City different skill sets as the small-ball five in different situations.

Alongside the scoring punches Isaiah Joe and Gordon Hayward can provide, Daigneault almost always has the perfect fit in any situation. The Thunder’s bench is also filled with capable and confident 3-point shooters, a typical prerequisite for being a significant playoff contributor.

Although Oklahoma City’s stars will typically lead the team to wins, its bench is rarely the reason for a loss.

The win against Dallas pushed Oklahoma City back into first in the Western Conference with 16 games remaining.

The Thunder will get a chance to improve their record on Saturday when they play at the Memphis Grizzlies.

Want to join the discussion? Like Inside the Thunder on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest Thunder news. You can also meet the team behind the coverage.