Josh Giddey has double-double in Oklahoma City Thunder win, highlights, Alperen Sengun injury latest news


Josh Giddey has continued his recent run of strong form and it could not have come at a better time for the Thunder with one of the team’s rising stars under an injury cloud.

Giddey had 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in just six minutes as the Australian took over early to set the tone for a dominant 124-93 win over the Grizzlies.

The 21-year-old guard finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds to record a double-double while rookie Cason Wallace had a season-high 22 points in the win.

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Josh Giddey had a double-double. Alika Jenner/Getty Images/AFPSource: AFP

Giddey has now hit double digits in points in his past five games, averaging 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 62.2 and 45.5 per cent from the field and 3-point land.

Giddey may also have an even more prominent role in the near-future after teammate Jalen Williams failed to finish Monday’s game due to an ankle sprain.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault offered no update after the game but Williams did take to social media to post what could only be described as an ominous Instagram story considering the circumstances.

If Williams missed time it would mean Giddey taking on more playmaking responsibility, something the Australian is more than comfortable doing.

Although Giddey has also slowly become more comfortable playing off the ball too, something he reflected on after Monday’s standout game.

“I’ve played on the ball my whole life so that comes more naturally I guess but playing off the ball… every good team has to make sacrifices and I think with the group that we have it’s kind of what I’ve had to do,” he told reporters.

“We’re first in the West so we’re doing something right. I’m just doing what I can to make an impact, whether that’s handling, whether that’s playing off the ball… I’m happy to do it. We’ve got a deep team with a lot of guys who can handle the ball and make plays.

“It’s a luxury to have. It has taken time to adjust to being more off the ball but it’s getting easier, we’re finding different ways to attack with teams throwing different looks at us.”

Giddey was finding plenty of success attacking the basket early on Monday but that is no guarantee to translate in the playoffs or even in OKC’s next game, something which the 21-year-old is quite aware of.

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“I think it’s just taking what the game gives you,” Giddey said.

“If you go in with a plan of doing this or that it can be easily disrupted by what the defences does. So, you can’t plan for what the defence is going to do to you. The same as tonight, I just took what I had and what they gave me and early on it was at the rim and I was finding cuts and layups but it’s not always going to be like that.

“Defences will play you in different ways. Just continuing to be active off the ball — cutting, floating around that dunker area — has been good lately.

“Also being a screener, if a team puts a five on me and they’re not a traditionally great defender just being able to be a screener for guys like Shai and Dub and setting them free and they can attack downhill and maybe sitting in the pocket a little bit. Just finding different ways to make an impact.”

Thunder coach Daigneault was full of praise for Giddey earlier in the week, telling reporters the Australian was “playing with a lot of aggressiveness and confidence”.

OKC opened up a 22-8 lead midway through the first quarter of Monday’s game and Daigneault said Giddey played a key role in sparking that early buffer.

“He especially was on the gas to start that game and it really amplifies his playmaking when he plays with that kind of force because now all of a sudden he’s collapsing the defence and his vision and instincts can take over,” Daigneault said.

“I thought he was competitive defensively to start the game. The whole group did a great job setting the tone but I definitely thought he was a catalyst in that group.”

It has been a turbulent third year for Giddey, who will be only tested further in the post-season but Daigneault spoke earlier in the week about the fact development in the NBA is not linear and that the Australian’s journey is proof of it.

“He’s having a small breakthrough right now with the way he is playing. Obviously, he’s had an up-and-down season — which is normal for any professional — especially one that is 21 years old and in their third year,” Daigneault said.

“I think some of the pop you are seeing right now is a result of some of the adversity or plateau that he’s had to overcome. I think it’s important to keep in mind with all of our players. They’re not going to be a perpetual linear ascent. It’s the NBA, it’s really hard and he’s the latest example of that.”

NBA Wrap: Thunder beat Heat to lead West | 01:05

SCARY SCENES AS RISING ROCKETS STAR TAKEN OFF IN WHEELCHAIR

Elsewhere, Rockets center Alperen Sengun will undergo an MRI exam on his left knee and ankle following a scary injury in the final minute of Houston’s game against the Kings, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

Sengun’s injury was the kind no one wants to see and had the Rockets big man in clear pain after attempting to contest a shot by Kings center Domantas Sabonis.

Sengun came down hard and awkwardly, almost immediately grabbing for his lower leg in the knee area.

The concern on the faces of the other players was palpable and it was quickly apparent that something was wrong.

Rockets coach Ime Udoka said Sengun was getting X-rays after the game and that the team would know more after that, team sideline reporter Vanessa Richardson posted on X.

The injury occurred with 39.1 seconds left in the game between the Kings and Rockets at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

Sengun was on the floor in pain before he was tended to by the medical staff.

He was eventually lifted into a wheelchair and wheeled off the court as his emotions began to pour out.

Sengun had his hands over his face and the fans and players applauded for the Rockets big man.

“I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what the reports are, but anytime you see someone come out in a wheelchair you know it’s definitely scary,” Sabonis said.

“Very young talent player and just I feel bad. No one wants to get hurt so I just wish him the best and a speedy recovery.”

Sengun had been having one of the best seasons in his three years in the NBA, averaging a career-high 21.2 points.

Sengun also has 9.4 rebounds per game and five assists.

He had 14 points on Sunday night against the Kings.

Houston defeated Sacramento 112-104 for its second consecutive victory and its fourth win in the last five games.

New York Post

BUCKS MAKE STATEMENT AGAINST CLIPPERS

The Milwaukee Bucks, fueled by 35 points from Damian Lillard and 34 from Giannis Antetokounmpo, snapped their two-game California skid with a 124-117 NBA victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles.

Lillard scored 16 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter to help the Bucks hold off the short-handed Clippers, adding seven rebounds and 11 assists.

Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Antetokounmpo pulled down seven rebounds and handed out 10 assists for the Bucks, who were coming off losses to the Golden State Warriors and the Lakers in LA.

“It was extremely crucial,” Lillard said of turning things around on the Western swing that will continue with a game at Sacramento on Wednesday.

“I think we were playing our best basketball of the year for six games, you lay an egg at Golden State then you come against a short-handed team in the Lakers and you let them get going early and you get yourself in the dog fight on the road against the team with talent.”

NBA Wrap: Doncic ANOTHER triple-double | 01:50

This time, a back-and-forth battle that featured 28 lead changes saw the Bucks pull away late. Lillard scored nine straight points to push Milwaukee’s lead to 10 with 1:19 to play.

The Clippers were without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as they played a second game in less than 24 hours.

They beat Chicago 112-102 on Saturday afternoon but with another early start — the quick turnaround exacerbated by the loss of one hour due to the US shift to daylight saving time — the Clippers rested Leonard, who is nursing a left groin injury, and George, who has a sore left knee.

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue called the scheduling “very extreme,” and said it was one reason the club is looking forward to moving into their new Intuit Dome arena next year after sharing Crypto.com arena with the Lakers.

The Lakers were due to host the Minnesota Timberwolves later Sunday in the downtown venue.

OTHER SCORES

Hawks 103 defeated by Pelicans 116

Heat 108 defeated by Wizards 110

Magic 97 defeated by Pacers 111

Knicks 73 defeated by 76ers 79

Cavaliers 101 defeated by Nets 120

Lakers 120 defeat Timberwolves 109



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