Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points, Josh Giddey had the seventh triple-double of his career and third of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors 137-128 on Wednesday.
Giddey finished with 17 points, a career-high 17 assists and 11 rebounds.
The 20-year-old Melbourne native’s 17 assists tied the most ever in an NBA game by an Australia after Ben Simmons achieved the same number in 2019.
READ MORE: Star’s stunning ‘bombshell’ admission in LIV war
READ MORE: ‘Sad’ estrangement ends as Aussie boxing icons reunite
READ MORE: Broncos urged to poach young gun as Reynolds’ heir
Giddey also became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double with over 15 assists, and drew level with Hall of Famer Magic Johnson with seven triple-doubles before the age of 21.
The Thunder led by 15 points in the fourth quarter, yet still had to hold on at the end. They won their third straight in their quest for a playoff spot.
“You got to take punches to beat them because they (the Warriors) just keep throwing them, and they score in bunches and they do a great job of generating their own energy,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.
“You know, the game can be going poorly for them. And the next thing you know, it’s like an 8-0 spurt and they get themselves going. And they’ve done that for a decade.”
Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic holds the record after registering 21 triple-doubles before he turned 21 in 2020. Giddey has until October to get to Doncic’s record.
“Guys are making shots,” he said. “I mean, it’s kind of that easy. I mean, I was just making the right play and, you know, 17 assists sounds great, but you give a lot of credit to your teammates. They were in the right spot a lot of tonight. They made shots, made some tough ones as well.”
Stephen Curry scored 40 points and made a season-high 10 three-pointers, but one he missed was costly.
The Thunder led 135-128 with 47.1 seconds left, and a foul was called when Aaron Wiggins blocked his three-pointer. The Thunder challenged, and it was determined that the block was clean. The Thunder won the midcourt tip and controlled the game from there.
“I thought we did a great job in the initial action forced him into a contested shot,” Daigneault said. “Wiggs did a really good job, but him and Lu (Dort) communicated that really well.”
Klay Thompson scored 23 points and Jonathan Kuminga added 21 for the Warriors. But the Warriors got behind early and trailed 68-64 at half time.
“I felt we were a little disconnected in the first half several times, and so we talked about that at halftime and tried to get back out there and compete the second half,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
“There was definitely a disconnect in the first half and that cost us.”
Golden State’s Jordan Poole was called for a technical early in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City’s Isaiah Joe missed the technical free throw, but Jaylin Williams dunked on Oklahoma City’s extra possession to put the Thunder up 111-106.
After a Warriors turnover, Joe made up for the missed free throw with a 3-pointer that put Oklahoma City up 114-106 and forced the Warriors to call timeout. The Thunder pushed the lead to 123-108 on a bank shot by Gilgeous-Alexander with seven minutes remaining.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!