OKC Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went down swinging.
We know the type of talent Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is. He was an All-Star last year, a 1st Team All-NBA player who led Canada to a medal over the summer, and was fresh off of dropping 43 points in his previous game.
Gilgeous-Alexander was complicit with the lackluster performance the OKC Thunder were putting on, but he could break out of the trance and keep the Thunder’s head above water. Ever so slightly.
He finished the game with 33 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. He had his fingerprints all over this game offensively.
In the 2nd half, though, he locked in defensively as well.
He finished the game with two blocks and two steals and had numerous other deflections and great individual defensive possessions.
Back to his offense, the man shot 9-11 in the 2nd half, including a jaw-dropping 5-5 in the 4th quarter. Doing it in various ways: straight line drives to the basket, strict pull-up mid-range jump shots, or getting to the line. Shai was finding a way when there was no way to put points on the board and keep his team in this game.
It was all for naught because the rest of the starters checked back in in the 4th quarter at the 3:33 mark when the Thunder were down nine.