Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had an MVP-type performance vs the Warriors.
In the first contest, GIlgeous-Alexander struggled to get any rhythm with his jump shot and assaults on the rim, scoring 24 points but uncharacteristically inefficiently shooting just six of 21 from the field.
It seemed he was headed towards yet another so-so night, entering the second half with just eight points on a pedestrian four of eleven shooting from the field.
In the third quarter, he turned it on.
He scored 15 points on seven of ten shooting in the third quarter alone, finding his rhythm on his midrange jump shots and keeping the Warriors in panic mode with his endless assault on the rim.
When he checked out of the game at the end of the third, the OKC Thunder had turned a ten-point halftime deficit into a two-point debt.
When Gilgeous-Alexander returned with 6:27 left, the game was tied at 98. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would hit a stepback three-pointer, a pull-up midrange, and two free throws in the fourth quarter. And usually, that would be great; that would be the story of his game.
It was OT, however, where Gilgeous-Alexander truly put his cape on.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored ten of the Thunder’s thirteen points in OT.
And no other sequence was more impressive than the one that began at 1:11.
After a Curry three-pointer put the Warriors within one, Gilgeous-Alexander hit a stepback midrange over the outstretched arms of Andrew Wiggins.
On the ensuing possession, Gilgeous-Alexander was matched up with Curry. After a quick flurry of moves, Curry felt he had enough space to knock down a three to tie the game; Curry was wrong.
Gilgeous-Alexander composed himself, tipped the shot (that almost surely would have gone down), and then tracked down the rebound before he was off to the races for the dagger layup on the other end.
Holmgren and Gilgoeus-Alexander won this game for the OKC Thunder with their timely buckets in the clutch. But they weren’t alone in the journey that put them in a position to make those plays.