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Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams Turn In Strong Performances Against Grizzlies

Oklahoma City saw two young players step up against a tough Memphis Grizzlies team.

The Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in FedEx Forum on Friday night, 110-121. Despite a valiant effort, the Thunder never enjoyed a lead in the game and their offensive juice they found in their previous games wasn’t enough to overcome the Grizzlies’ 40 free throw attempts.

Here are your top performers from Friday night’s action.

Josh Giddey

In a topsy-turvy twist of events, Josh Giddey topped the game off with arguably his best performance in the regular season. The Australian point guard went off for 20 points on an efficient 10-of-20 shooting from the floor. 

Despite going 0-for-4 from the 3-point line, Giddey took good shots within the flow of the offense and was aggressive when the going got rough. That aggressiveness led to 11 assists as he poked and prodded a Grizzlies defense, trying to find anyway to help his teammates get advantageous looks.

And let’s not forget about his six rebounds. Giddey’s knack for tracking down contested rebounds was remarkable and helped secure extra offensive possessions for the struggling Thunder.

Jalen Williams

The rookie from Santa Clara continued to impress Thunder fans in his 12th game of the year, scoring efficiently, creating for himself and teammates, and proving to be a cog on the defensive end. 

In 33 minutes, Williams produced a well-rounded game, finding 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc. Williams also produced six rebounds, and seven assists, and the long-legged and long-armed was also able to corral two steals. 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Last but certainly not least, Gilgeous-Alexander joins the top performer ranks despite maybe having his worst game of the season. 

After playing at an All-NBA level in his games leading up to the Thunder’s bout with the Grizzlies, Gilgeous-Alexander only recorded 15 points on a not-so-efficient 6-of-18 shooting. Perhaps this was due to the stellar point of attack defense that Memphis was able to throw at him in the form of Dillon Brooks.

Still, as a leader of the Thunder, Gilgeous-Alexander found six rebounds and his creative drives were able to generate six assists, highlighting his importance as a playmaker for his up-and-coming co-workers. 

The franchise point guard also hit two important three-pointers, on four attempts, to keep the game within reach.

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