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  • Jason Regan

Records for Giddey in Thunder NBA win

A historic triple-double remains tantalisingly out of reach for Josh Giddey, who matched his career-high in points and set a new mark for assists as Oklahoma turned the tables on Memphis in one of the great NBA responses.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey handles the ball between Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and guard Desmond Bane in the second half of Monday's game in Memphis. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

The No.6 draft pick scored 19 points - 14 in the second quarter alone - and added five rebounds and 11 assists as the Thunder beat the Grizzlies 102-99.

Their comeback win, in which the Australian scored the go-ahead bucket and then assisted in the closing seconds to seal the victory, came after the Grizzlies had beaten a depleted Thunder by an NBA-record 73 points earlier this month.

Grizzlies star Ja Morant missed that game but returned on Tuesday (AEDT) with 16 points, while both Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were absent for the record flogging before starring in the rematch.

Giddey's haul came a game after he collected eight points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists in a win against the Los Angeles Clippers.

He turned 19 in October and will become the youngest player in the NBA to register a triple-double - beating fellow NBL graduate LaMelo Ball to the mark - if he can do so inside the next 68 days.

The irony wasn't lost on Giddey, who couldn't score the two points needed in the final quarter against the Clippers and then against the Grizzlies was unable to rope in rebounds.

The records are adding up regardless though, Giddey is the first Thunder rookie since Russell Westbrook in 2009 to record at least 10 assists in consecutive games.

They were eye-catching too, Giddey twice finding wide-open men off inbound passes for easy lay-ups in what is quickly becoming a trademark play for the Victorian.

The second was a huge moment, finding star man Gilgeous-Alexander (23 points) to catch a floundering Grizzlies defence napping and create a buffer after the Grizzlies had led for most of the final quarter.

"I just tell the guys when I've got it out of bounds be ready because I'm going to throw those balls," Giddey said post-game.
"I told Shai 'they're going to overplay you, so just cut to the ring and get those two points' and they trust me."

The win against the Western Conference contenders takes the young side to a respectable 10-19 for the season.

In Utah, Joe Ingles, who mentored Giddey in the lead-up to his NBA arrival, scored six points, five rebounds and four assists as the Jazz held off a Charlotte Hornets comeback. 

Elsewhere DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and the Chicago Bulls beat the Houston Rockets while Joel Embiid paired 41 points with 10 rebounds and five assists as Philadelphia took down Boston.

Boomers bronze medallist Matisse Thybulle was a typical pest on defence for the 76ers, unlucky not to be rewarded with more than his three steals to go with seven points and three rebounds.


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