Josh Giddey helps power OKC Thunder to win over Wolves

Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder flew up north to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves to tip off an 11-day road trip that features five games that span, across four time zones, and all of them see the OKC Thunder face off with a playoff-caliber team. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made his return to the Thunder lineup after a one-game absence on Wednesday against the Spurs following a hip injury suffered in Monday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Josh Giddey help SGA lead the Thunder to a win.

The Minnesota Timberwolves entered this game without Karl-Anthony Towns or Taurean Prince while the OKC Thunder were without second overall pick Chet Holmgren who is sidelined for the entire season, Lindy Waters III, and Eugene Omoruyi.

Quickly though, the Timberwolves also saw Rudy Gobert leave the game. The former All-Star big man whom Minnesota traded six first-round picks for was ejected following a flagrant two foul against Kenrich Williams when Gobert tripped the veteran forward. Rudy Gobert played in less than ten minutes, put up six points, and hauled in four rebounds.

OKC Thunder battle the Minnesota Timberwolves to tip off a long road trip, Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander power OKC to a win

when Rudy Gobert left the game, and the Oklahoma City Thunder held a 37-30 lead. After that altercation, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ offense exploded without the lanes being clogged up by their two big men.

The game went back and forth seeing 12 lead changes between the two teams, nine ties throughout the game, and OKC once swelling their lead to 12 points. The largest Timberwolves’ lead was seven.

The Oklahoma City Thunder fanbase has been prematurely on edge about the possible fit between young guards Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, in this game the two made their pairing work to power OKC to a win. Mark Daigneault did a good job staggering the two as well as having them share the floor together and it worked to perfection.

In 33 minutes Josh Giddey logged 21 points, hauled in 12 rebounds, dished out seven assists, and defensively had two blocks and as many steals. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who played 34 minutes, had 33 points, six assists, three steals, and a block.

This is the 16th game of 30-plus points for OKC Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, which leads the NBA.

The Oklahoma City Thunder also got a huge lift from reigning Western Conference Rookie of the Month Jalen Williams. The forward scored 11 points, three assists, a rebound, and shot 66 percent from the floor, with all of his points coming in the fourth quarter. Williams also drew a pivotal charge down the stretch of this game.

Lu Dort once again stepped up on both ends, offensively splashing a trio of 3’s, hauling in four rebounds, dishing out three assists, and swiping a steal on the defensive end on his way to 18 points.

The Oklahoma City Thunder had seven players crack double-figures with Kenrich Williams earning a season-high 15 points, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl not far behind with 14, and Aleksej Pokusevski having 12 points.

Next. What Jalen Williams winning Rookie of the Month means for Oklahoma City. dark