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Oklahoma City Thunder

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's best shooting game of his career sparks OKC Thunder to road win over the Detroit Pistons

After losing back-to-back games to the Milwaukee Bucks and the LA Clippers, the Oklahoma City Thunder got back to their winning ways in Detroit on their first of a three-game road trip.

The Thunder led by as many as 16 points in this game but needed to ice the game in the final minute to get the win.

Courtesy of the win, the Thunder have won both games against the Pistons this season - the second straight year the OKC franchise has swept the season series.

Here are the biggest takeaways from this one:

SGA's career-best shooting game

En route to scoring a team-high 27 points, sophomore guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had the best shooting game of his career.

In 34 minutes of playing time, he shot 12-of-15 from the field, 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, committed just one turnover and finished with a team-high +12. Not to mention his all-round contribution with three assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

"Just taking what the defense gives me," Gilgeous Alexander said postgame when asked about making tough mid-range shots late in the shot clock. "Playing to my strengths. I know what I work on everyday and what I like to do, and I just tried to get to them."

A majority of his points came in the first quarter of each half - 10 points in the first quarter (4-of-5 FGs) and 13 in the third quarter (6-of-7 FGs).

OKC continue to win in the clutch

Despite leading by as many as 16 points, the Thunder only led 102-98 with five minutes to go in the game. However, they seem to be more than comfortable in these situations late in games.

For a team with 41 wins - 10th best in the league - the Thunder have the fourth-best winning percentage (.683) in clutch situations. In 41 'clutch games', the Thunder have gone 28-13.

In this game, Dennis Schroder, who has had a stellar season for the team off the bench, top-scored for the team in the fourth quarter with eight points. In the last 3:37 minutes of the game, the Thunder outscored the Pistons 12-4 to ice the game.

What's next?

On Saturday, the Thunder travel to New York to take on the Knicks, while the Pistons host the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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