The future of Canadian basketball was on display on Friday night, as RJ Barrett and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led their teams during tense fourth-quarter battles.
Gilgeous-Alexander poured in 33 points to go along with 10 assists in Oklahoma City's overtime win over Chicago, while Barrett finished with 20 points and three assists in New York's narrow loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
For Barrett, the night also saw him cross the 1,000 point plateau in just his 69th regular season NBA appearance.
1,000 career points and many more to go. #NewYorkForever pic.twitter.com/WFS7EGc1gk- NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 16, 2021
A pull-up jump shot with 1:52 remaining in the fourth brought the Knicks to within one point of the Cavaliers, though some poor execution in the final minute allowed Cleveland to take the win. The 20-year-old is now averaging 16.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season.
For Gilgeous-Alexander, an All-Star berth does not seem totally beyond the realms of possibility, with his latest dominant performance helping the surprising Thunder notch another win. The 33-point outburst marked the eighth time in 12 games that he has topped the 20-point mark this season, as the 22-year-old leads Oklahoma City in both points and assists.
Coming up clutch to send the game to overtime, SGA finished on a tough turnaround jump shot through contact with 16.4 seconds left. He would make the ensuing free-throw to leave the game all square at 118.
SGA AND-1! 👀- NBA TV (@NBATV) January 16, 2021
OKC and Chicago are heading to OT #Crunchtime pic.twitter.com/ZGTzTHbaq5
The win leaves Oklahoma City at 6-6 on the season, while Barrett's Knicks have now lost five straight to sit 5-8.
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