Gilgeous-Alexander stepped onto the court last night, challenged by coach Billy Donovan to improve his all-round game, and posted a historic triple-double in the 117-104 Thunder win over Minnesota.
The 21-year-old Canadian native tallied 20 points, a career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in his first-ever triple-double. In a post-game press conference, Gilgeous-Alexander opened up about his vision heading into the fixture:
"Coach had challenged me before the game to fill up the stat sheet more and do more things. I just felt like we were on our heels a little bit in the previous game against the Lakers," Gilgeous-Alexander said. "That was one of the things that Coach mentioned to us, attacking first. I felt we did that as a group. When you attack as a group, you get more comfortable faster."
And fill up the stat sheet he did, as Gilgeous-Alexander matched his career-best assists to become the youngest player in league history to record a triple-double - a definite flex on former OKC veteran, Russell Westbrook. In fact, Westbrook is the only other guard to have a 20-20 triple-double in the last 30 seasons, but his achievements may be in jeopardy if last night was a sign of things to come.
After averaging 10.8 points in his 2018/19 rookie season with the LA Clippers, Gilgeous-Alexander was traded to Oklahoma this past summer and has already seen a dramatic increase in both points and minutes. The Thunder guard has averaged 19.9 points this season and 23.7 in his previous 13 games alone.
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However, the second-year wasn't the only heat brought to the Timberwolves last night as Italian forward Danilo Gallinari racked up 30 points for the Thunder, shooting 11-for-12 from the free-throw line and 8-for-12 from the field.
Minnesota was without big man, Karl-Anthony Towns but Naz Reid hit 20 points off the bench and has racked up double figures in six of the last eight games. With a couple of established players taking a step back, the Wolves are attempting to build around the abundance of young talent coming through in order to carve out a team for this year's playoffs.
With the help of Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC has won 12 of their past 15 games and six of seven on the road, improving their record to 23-17. They face the Toronto Raptors at home tomorrow.News Now - Sport News