‘We dug in': Mark Daigneault praises 'scrappy’ Thunder in gutsy Game 4 comeback vs Mavericks

Published May 14, 2024, 3:30 PMPao Ambat

Grit and grind. Rough and tough. Whatever it took, the OKC Thunder rolled with the punches early and delivered when needed the most.

OKC Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault marvels at his team’s ability to stay composed in theGame 4 comeback win.

On the brink of going down 3-1 in their Western Conference semifinals series against the Dallas Mavericks, the young Oklahoma City Thunder remained unfazed. 

The Thunder scrapped, hustled, and eventually found a way to grind out the win to the point where head coach Mark Daigneault wasn't even surprised by his squad’s gritty performance.

"No... not with this team... they've [Thunder] proven time and again that they can rise to competitive challenges," the 2024 NBA Coach of the Year awardee said moments after the OKC’s gutsy 100-96 Game 4 win over the Mavericks, which evened the series at 2-2.


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Oklahoma City overcame a dismal shooting from the field, an early 14-point deficit, and Dallas’ playoff-high 13 blocks to hack out an all-important road win. 


“We dug in. We were just scrappy and fought on the floor. The execution was good but the effort in terms of physicality and all of that was better.” 


The Thunder shot nearly flawlessly from the free throw line, going  23-of-24 from outscored the Mavericks, 67-42, in the second half. 


“Tonight, we needed everything. We needed the stops, the free throws, the offensive rebounds. We are scraping for every advantage we can get and we did, ” Daigneault said.

The youngest no. 1 seed in NBA playoff history, OKC rose above the occasion late and made big-time shots in the end, riding on 20-12 run in the final six minutes to secure the win.

“That’s where the trust comes in. That’s where this team has an uncommon ability to stay together. We really had to pull together, ” Daigneault spoke.

Game 5 of this series returns to Oklahoma City on Thursday (PH time).