On Saturday, a late 3-pointer from D'Angelo Russell helped the Minnesota Timberwolves win in Oklahoma City. If it wasn't for that shot, the Thunder nearly pulled off the win, despite their beat player in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander not suiting up.
Less than 24 hours later, however, SGA was ready as both teams took on each other once again at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
His plus-minus was a team-high +16 as he scored or assisted in 26 of the team's historic 83-point first half.
🎯 LONG-----distance!- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) February 7, 2021
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In the third quarter, the Timberwolves made a game of it as they outscored the hosts 32-13. That comeback made it a back-and-forth contest in the fourth quarter, a period that saw all of the game's seven lead changes and four ties.
Not wanting to let this one slip, Gilgeous-Alexander took over late.
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In the final 4:03 minutes of the game, he scored nine of the team's last 11 points - even outscoring the visitors by a point.
And then there's SGA hustle.- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) February 7, 2021
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He finished the game with team-high tallies of 31 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. This is his fourth 30-point game of this season, through just 20 games, having recorded three in the previous two seasons.
So far this season, through 20 games, he's averaging career-highs of 22.3 points and 6.4 assists while shooting 51.2% from the field and 37.2% from beyond the arc.
This isn't the first time this season that he has come up huge for the team late in games. In the season-opener, he knocked the game-winner against the Charlotte Hornets.
He's been the star in nearly every Thunder win that's come by a margin of five points or lesser whether that's in Phoenix (scored or assisted on nine of the team's game-sealing 11-2 run), Portland, New Orleans (scored or assisted in 12 of the team's last 14 points), and in Oklahoma City vs. Bulls (33 PTS, 10 ASTS - assisted on six of the team's eight points in OT).
His play and performance in the clutch is a huge reason why the Oklahoma City Thunder have among the best clutch records in the league.
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