BBNBA: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads blowout win in Brooklyn
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BBNBA: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads blowout win in Brooklyn

Alex Weber3 days

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Article written by:Alex WeberAlex Weber
nba-shai-gilgeous-alexander-leads-thunder-win-in-brooklyn
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson | Getty Images

Not a ton of games across the NBA last night, but there were some fireworks for our acronymous former ‘Cats, SGA and KAT. Read up.

SGA takes down Brooklyn with near-triple-double

No Durant, no match for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Without their 6-foot-11 superstar wing and being down Kyrie Irving at home, James Harden and the remaining Nets couldn’t stop OKC’s onslaught. Particulalry, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

SGA was an assist shy from a triple-double, making 11-18 shots for 33 points while recording 10 rebounds and nine assists. He also blocked two shots in what may be Oklahoma City’s best win of the season. A win that is actually consequential to the playoff race too.

It seems insane that the Thunder could make the play-in, but logistically, it’s a very real possibility. With the win, they advanced to 14-27 on the season — a fairly poor overall record. But in a down Western Conference, OKC is still just two games back from 10th-seed Portland, who just lost Damian Lillard to injury for a while.

I doubt we’ll see the Thunder seriously contend down the stretch and it’s likely the front office benches Shai and the other productive players for nobodies to ensure a higher draft pick. However, the potential for playoff contention is there.

Minnesota falls to red-hot Memphis

Speaking of a team that’s going to make the NBA Playoffs, the Minnesota Timberwolves lost last night but are still positioned at the nine-spot in the West, a game behind both Los Angeles teams.

Their loss came at the hands of the hottest team in the NBA in Memphis. Behind Ja Morant his supporting cast of gritty, Girzzly-esque role players, they’ve won 11 straight and surged into the third seed in the West. Impressive stuff from Memphis and the former Murray State Racer leading the charge.

Despite the defeat, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jarred Vanderbilt both had impressive performances. KAT made 11-17 shots for 25 points and nine rebounds while Jarred Vanderbilt converted four of his five shot attempts and grabbed 13 rebounds. He continues to rebound as well as anyone in the NBA this season.

Don’t want to jinx their chances, but it’s looking pretty assured that Minnesota makes the postseason. As mentioned, Portland holds the final spot in the play-in right now, and they’re without Lillard and 3.5 games back from the Wolves as it is. Finally, another opportunity at Playoff Basketball for Karl.

Clippers bring ‘Cats off the bench

The only other former Kentuky guys in action was the trio for LAC. Eric Bledsoe, Wenyen Gabriel and Brandon Boston Jr. all came off the bench in a disappointing 113-89 loss to the pitiful Pelicans. Boston was the leading ‘Cat with 10 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes as a sub. Gabriel and Bledsoe each scored just three as neither played more than 10 minutes.

Since kicking off the new year with a 27-point explosion on January 1st, Bledsoe has had a rough month. He’s been demoted to the bench and just hasn’t shot or played well over the last two weeks. Hopefully he’ll right the ship.

As a whole, the Clippers are somehow keeping pace with the team on the other side of the Staples Center. Without Kawhi Leonard at all this season and with Paul George and other primary contributors in and out of the lineup, they’ve still been able to piece together a .500 record and stay right in the thick of the playoff hunt.

And if they get 100% healthy by postseason time — eight-seed or not, the Clippers could threaten for the title.

PlayerResultPointsFG(3PA)ReboundsAssistsStealsBlocksTurnoversMinutes+/-
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)130-109 W @ BKN3311-18
(2-5)
10912535+30
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)116-108 L @ MEM2511-17
(2-6)
9312440-2
Brandon Boston Jr. (LAC)113-89 L @ NOP103-8
(1-3)
5201123+1
Jarred Vanderbilt (MIN)116-108 L @ MEM84-5
(0-0)
13000230-5
Wenyen Gabriel (LAC)113-89 L @ NOP31-1
(1-1)
300024-4
Eric Bledsoe (LAC)113-89 L @ NOP31-2
(0-0)
120029-8

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