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Do The Mavs Have Odds Stacked Against Them Heading Into Game 5?

Dallas Mavericks play Oklahoma City Thunder | Image by Oklahoma City Thunder/Facebook
Dallas Mavericks play Oklahoma City Thunder | Image by Oklahoma City Thunder/Facebook

Top-seeded and playing like it again, the Oklahoma City Thunder have stacked the odds in their favor as they head into Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series Wednesday against the visiting Dallas Mavericks.

With a 100-96 victory in Game 4 Monday, the Thunder have evened the series at two games. And with two of the next three potential games at Oklahoma City, the Thunder can once again see a path forward to their first Western Conference final since 2016.

That path was a bit obstructed until Oklahoma City rallied from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter Monday and an eight-point hole with fewer than eight minutes remaining in regulation.

When Oklahoma City needed Shai Gilgeous-Alexander most, he was there again with a 22-point second half and a 10-point fourth quarter on 4-of-7 shooting in the final 12 minutes. His fadeaway from close range with 4:02 remaining tied the score at 86 and the Thunder never trailed again.

“Ultimately, it just comes down to, for the most part, taking what the defense gives you and trusting your teammates,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “You need them to win at a high level and that’s clear as day. And I want to win at a high level so I have no option.”

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