The Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves played a competitive game on Saturday that went down to the wire. The top two teams in the west renewed their division rivalry all knotted up at a game of piece in the season series.
In a back-and-forth contest, the OKC Thunder used a late rally to pull off a 102-97 victory in a defensive slugfest. OKC grew a 16-point lead early in the clash before Minnesota not only rallied but swelled a 12-point lead of their own.
Through eight lead changes and seven ties, the Oklahoma City Thunder came out on top thanks to Anthony Edwards bricking three freebies late.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Anthony Edwards take shots at each other post-game.
In this game, the Thunder saw Shai Gilgeous-Alexander get to his typical 33 points, shooting 45 percent from the floor and 1-for-2 from three, with his lone triple being a dagger step back.
Anthony Edwards logged 19 points, five rebounds, five assists, and five turnovers while shooting 60 percent from the floor, 1-for-3 from beyond the arc, and 6-for-10 at the charity stripe. By comparison, Gilgeous-Alexander shot 13 freebies, making 12 of them.
Following this contest, the OKC Thunder are now just a loss back from Minnesota, with the Thunder at 29-13 and the Wolves sitting at 30-12. The season series between the divisional foes is at 2-1, in favor of Oklahoma City with one more to play later this season in Oklahoma City.
Routinely, the media has asked opposing teams how difficult it is to handle this young upstart Thunder team, and typically, players give glowing reviews of the Bricktown boys. However, following this intense game, Edwards used this question as a launching point to jab at Gilgeous-Alexander.
As the former top overall pick complains about the whistle the MVP candidate is getting, the Oklahoma City Thunder were busy celebrating their road victory to salvage a 2-2 trip after dropping the opening two contests of this Western Conference swing.
However, with the NBA being the best drama on television, you knew this was not going to die out so quickly. In his now famous post-game Instagram post, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander took a light jab back at Edwards.
While Anthony Edwards' shots were not as veiled, Gilgeous-Alexander certainly landed a right hook with the talk around Edwards' postgame media availability, which has been a constant theme throughout his all-star career, including after last night's Free Throw Line blunder.
The NBA is in desperate need of old-school rivalries to return, and these divisional foes might just spark those feelings once again. The two fanbases have been in a stir all day over this matchup, and now the players are getting involved.
Both players are stars in this league and some of the best players in the World; taking shots at each other only creates headlines and more interest in star-studded matchups.