At the season tip-off, the Oklahoma City Thunder were one of a handful of teams in the NBA with multiple Canadians on their roster.
Both Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort are key cornerstones to the franchise's rebuild and on Wednesday, both of them came up huge in the team's buzzer-beating win against the San Antonio Spurs.
The duo were two of only three Thunder players to score in double figures, as Gilgeous-Alexander finished with a career-high 42 points while Dort nailed the game-winning 3 at the buzzer.
SGA's big 3rd Q leads Thunder comeback
A day after he missed out on making the All-Star reserves list, SGA erupted for a career game.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored 21 of his 42 in the third quarter alone, helping the Thunder fight back from an 11-point deficit early in the period. The Thunder needed his offensive spark to rebound from a 12-point second quarter.
⚡️S G A⚡️- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) February 25, 2021
New career high
38 points in 3 quarters. #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/LVo3i7gnWn
Playing 38 minutes, he also finished with eight rebounds, and four assists on 13-of-20 shooting from the field, 6-of-11 from beyond the arc, and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line.
At 22 years and 227 days, he is the third-youngest player to score at least 40 in Thunder franchise history.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the 5th player in Thunder/SuperSonics history with a 40-point game at age 22 or younger, joining Kevin Durant, Spencer Haywood, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. pic.twitter.com/SpyiQGhNmb- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 25, 2021
His 42 is tied for fifth-most scored by a Canadian in NBA history and means that two of the top seven have come in the last four days. He was just eight points from Jamal Murray's record of 50 points but wasn't tempted to go for more.
"I wouldn't have known how many points I had if my teammates didn't tell me," Gilgeous-Alexander said postgame. "Honestly just trying to win. Big nights are great but I wouldn't feel nearly what I feel now if we didn't win."
Through 26 games, the Canadian is averaging career-highs of 23.5 points and 6.4 assists while shooting 51.4% from the field and 41.7% from beyond the arc. This one was his sixth game of scoring 30 or more, having done so just three times in his first two seasons.
Dort's clutch shot
Just like Gilgeous-Alexander, Dort came up huge in the second half with 12 points including nine in the final period. Not to mention the game-winner that helped withstand the Spurs' late rally.
👀 How about THIS angle?@luthebeast | #GameWinner pic.twitter.com/YZSBrbdgiw- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) February 25, 2021
"It felt great. They were all yelling in my face. It felt great seeing everyone happy for me," Dort said postgame after his first career buzzer-beating game-winner. "When it dropped in, I dropped too."
Dort finished the game with 16 on 6-of-12 shooting in 30 minutes of action.
Dejounte Murray stars for Spurs
For the Spurs, who were playing their first basketball game in 10 days, were led by Murray's 27 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
just DJ things 🤷♂️ @DejounteMurray pic.twitter.com/S7dGteJKU2- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 25, 2021
In his fourth season, Murray is averaging career-highs of 15.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.1 assists through 28 games.
Aussie Patty Mills was the team's highest scorer with 15 points and three assists off the bench as the Spurs suited up in this one without DeMar DeRozan and Derrick White.
With this victory, the Thunder improve to 13-19 and will host the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday (ET), looking for consecutive wins in over a month.
On the other hand, the Spurs will head back home to host Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday (ET).
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