Canadian Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tied his occupation high with 32 beneficial properties to resolve the Oklahoma City Snarl to a 98-97 victory over his place of origin Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
When Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drove to the rim to bank in a floater with 36 seconds to play Sunday evening, he did no longer appropriate clinch Oklahoma City a victory.
In precisely his second season within the NBA, the 21-year-broken-down Canadian guard made history.
Gilgeous-Alexander matched his occupation high with 32 beneficial properties — for the third time in nine days — to resolve the Snarl to a 98-97 victory over his place of origin Raptors. It change into as soon as basically the most beneficial properties ever scored by a Canadian versus the Raptors, one level extra than Rick Fox scored in 1998 and Andrew Wiggins matched in 2016.
“I did no longer know that,” Gilgeous-Alexander mentioned with a grin. “That’s cool even though.”
Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet had 20 beneficial properties apiece for the Raptors (22-11), who were lacking Pascal Siakam (groin), Marc Gasol (hamstring), and Norman Powell (shoulder) for the sixth consecutive sport. Patrick McCaw added 13 beneficial properties, whereas Serge Ibaka had 12, and Terence Davis accomplished with 11.
Chris Paul chipped in with 25 beneficial properties for the Snarl (17-15).
Gilgeous-Alexander change into as soon as the absolute best player on the ground for a entire lot of the evening. The Toronto native added seven rebounds, three steals, and two assists, and his eight discipline dreams within the important thing half alone matched the reduction of his crew’s blended.
WATCH | Gilgeous-Alexander ties occupation-high in beneficial properties in OKC purchase over Toronto:
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a occupation-high 32 and put up basically the most beneficial properties by a Canadian in a sport towards the Raptors. 1: 25
Paul mentioned both Gilgeous-Alexander and Snarl teammate Luguentz Dort of Montreal had this sport circled on their calendars since coaching camp. When told Gilgeous-Alexander’s 32 beneficial properties marked a Canadian file, Paul laughed.
“Did you expose him that? Oh man, we ain’t going to listen to the discontinue of that,” the outmoded guard mentioned. “He is been infected to reach support support. All individuals right here in Canada, know you all got an exact one. He loves dwelling, he loves dwelling.”
His place of origin crew did no longer a lot like him on Sunday.
Playing for the fifth time in eight days, and 24 hours after an impressive 113-97 purchase in Boston, the Raptors would possibly perchance perchance no longer put any distance on the Snarl in a sport that saw 20 lead changes.
Leading 80-76 to delivery the fourth, the Raptors saw their lead evaporate, and Paul’s basket with 1: 01 to play in a nailbiting closing frame gave the Snarl a one-level lead. VanVleet’s pair of free throws put Toronto support on top. However Gilgeous-Alexander scored with 36 seconds to play, then the lanky six-foot-six guard hauled down a decisive defensive rebound on a VanVleet omit to clinch the victory for his crew.
Gilgeous-Alexander, who grew up watching games at Scotiabank Enviornment, mentioned it felt “exact” to purchase in his dwelling metropolis.
“However all of it, honestly, can comprise to quiet no longer comprise intended anything else if we did no longer purchase, that change into as soon as the absolute best feeling,” he mentioned.
The rising superstar, who scored 19 beneficial properties in his first search the advice of with to Toronto final season with the L.A. Clippers, has been praised by coaches across the NBA for his mix of self assurance and humility. He credits his dad and mother, severely his mother Charmaine, a sprinter who competed within the 1992 Olympics for Antigua and Barbuda.
“I work laborious, so I actually comprise self assurance. And the individuals around me don’t let my head fetch too tall — especially my mother, she tells me I suck on each day basis,” Gilgeous-Alexander mentioned with fun before the game.
Gilgeous-Alexander has performed the absolute best basketball of his occupation over the last six games, no longer too long within the past joining Wiggins, Steve Nash, and Jamaal Magloire as the absolute best Canadians to moderate 20-plus beneficial properties over five games. Sunday’s purchase change into as soon as his sixth straight sport with extra than 20 beneficial properties.
Raptors coach Cleave Nurse, who’d like to be teaching Gilgeous-Alexander when Canada plays its final-likelihood Olympic qualifying match this summer season in Victoria, had a entire lot of kind words for the younger player before tipoff Sunday, saying there would possibly perchance perchance no longer be a player with a sooner “first step, blow-by switch” within the league. He spoke of his sturdy play down the stretch. He would possibly perchance perchance no longer had been extra appropriate.
“He performed appropriate how he is been taking half in,” Nurse mentioned after the game. “What I mentioned change into as soon as his first step is amazingly like a flash, and he slows down on the discontinue. He blasts in there and slows down and manoeuvres around in spite of’s coming at him. I believed he made a exact [last basket] there.”
Sunday’s sport moreover marked the important thing time in history four Canadians — Toronto’s Chris Boucher and Oshae Brissett and OKC’s Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort — scored in an NBA sport.
The Raptors’ purchase final month over the Original York Knicks change into as soon as the important thing time four Canadian players had been together on the ground in an NBA sport, however Brissett did no longer rating then.
Neither crew led by extra than five beneficial properties in a first quarter that saw the Snarl connect on appropriate one of their eight three-level shots within the frame. Paul’s 27-footer with half a second left within the quarter would possibly perchance be the absolute best three of the Snarl’s first 12 three-pointers to drop, putting Oklahoma City up 22-20 to delivery the second.
“That’s a exact crew and on a support-to-support, it be going to be unbiased a puny gradual available within the market,” Nurse mentioned. “I believed we performed pleasing laborious, I change into as soon as jubilant with how laborious we performed.”
Brissett’s alley-oop dunk at 10: 15 of the second quarter saw the Raptors walk up by five beneficial properties. VanVleet’s three-pointer with 3: 44 to play within the half gave Toronto its largest lead of the game to that level — eight beneficial properties — however the Snarl closed with a 13-5 creep to tie the game 47-47 at halftime.
Paul’s long jumper early within the third gave OKC an eight-level cushion, however the Raptors rallied, closing the quarter with a 7-1 creep to switch into the fourth with a four-level lead.
Toronto caps its busiest month of the season — 16 games and three support-to-backs — on Original Year’s Eve when it hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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