Oklahoma City’s top scorer was out, so everybody pitched in to make things work.
Josh Giddey scored a season-high 25 points, and the short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder blew out the NBA-leading Boston Celtics 150-117 on Tuesday night.
Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who ranks among the league´s leaders with 30.8 points per game, sat out with an illness.
Without him, the Thunder set a record for points since the team moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle before the 2008-2009 season. The previous mark was 149 points in 2013.
Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder scored a season-high 25 points against Boston
Lu Dort scored 23 points and Jalen Williams, Tre Mann and Isaiah Joe each added 21 points for the Thunder. They shot 59.2% from the field.
‘I just think we’ve got great players and great people,’ Mann said. ‘Guys who don’t really care who gets the credit.’
The Thunder hadn’t won a game by more than 16 and the Celtics hadn’t lost by more than 16 this season. Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said the result came from his team’s approach.
‘I told them after the game, I want them to realize what got it going, which was we had a great practice yesterday, came into the game with great focus on both ends of the floor, what we had to do, and that’ s what allowed us to have fun tonight,’ he said. ‘And we can’t lose sight of that.’
Oklahoma City took advantage of the fact that Robert Williams, one of Boston’s primary rim protectors, was out managing his injured left knee. The Thunder made 38 of 58 shots inside the 3-point line.
Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates after making a three point basket during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics
‘You have to play with a sense of humility every night knowing your opponent wants to beat you,’ Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said. ‘We have to match that, and we didn’t. We got outplayed in every aspect of the game.’
Jaylen Brown scored 29 points for Boston, and Jayson Tatum added 27.
The Thunder led 74-54 at halftime behind Joe’s 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Oklahoma City shot 57% in the first half. The Celtics trailed big, despite Brown’s 18 points in the first half.
A 10-0 run put Oklahoma City ahead 90-63 just over three minutes into the second half, and the game was never close after that. The Thunder scored 48 points in the third quarter – the most ever for an Oklahoma City team in a quarter – and shot 67.9% in the third to lead 122-91 heading into the fourth.
Oklahoma City´s largest lead was 37 points.
‘Late in the second quarter, they sort of put their head down, Boston did, and they got to the line and they were trying to play through us and they were just trying to like jam their way back into the game,’ Daigneault said . ‘And we needed to stand in there in order to fend that off. And I thought the guys did a really good job of that.’
Giddey (3) takes a layup in front of Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9)
Bucks 123, Wizards 113
Giannis Antetokounmpo says he wants to produce with so much consistency that it causes boredom.
That’s the only respect in which the two-time MVP has fallen shortly recently.
Antetokounmpo scored a career-high 55 points with a series of thrilling dunks and drives Tuesday as the Milwaukee Bucks beat Washington 123-113 on Tuesday night, snapping the Wizards´ five-game winning streak.
The spectacular forward also had 10 rebounds and seven assists to continue arguably the best stretch of his career.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored a career high 55 points against the Washington Wizards
‘I want to get in a position … that my game is boring,’ Antetokounmpo said. ‘I just do what I do and people don’t talk about it because it becomes boring – I do it every single night.
‘That’s what I want to do. I want other people to feel like my game is boring. But I don’t get bored. The greats – the best players – never get bored. They go out there and they always give their best any given night.’
Antetokounmpo has at least 40 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in each of the last three games he’s played. The two-time MVP sat out a 118-95 loss to the Wizards on Sunday because of a sore left knee.
The only other players in NBA history to have three straight performances of 40 points, 10 rebounds and five assists are Elgin Baylor in 1961 and 1963, Wilt Chamberlain in 1963 and Russell Westbrook in 2016.
The only other Bucks to score at least 40 points in three straight appearances are Flynn Robinson in February 1969 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in February 1972.
Antetokounmpo (34) takes a shot against Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8)
KINGS 117, JAZZ 115
De’Aaron Fox made a driving layup in the final second and scored 22 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter to help the Sacramento Kings beat the Utah Jazz 117-115 on Tuesday night.
Utah’s Lauri Markannen made a 3-pointer at the final buzzer that was initially ruled good, but reversed upon replay.
Time and again, Sacramento worked Fox into situations where he could use his quickness to get to the basket or hit mid-range jumpers against sagging defenders.
De’Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings shoots against the Utah Jazz, En route to scoring 37
Fox’s big fourth quarter included an emphatic dunk and an 18-foot pullup with 23.1 seconds remaining to put the Kings up 115-112.
Markkanen made all three free throws on a foul behind the arc, but Fox got switched onto the Finnish 7-footer and drove by him for an acrobatic layup.
Markannen had 28 points, including a 15-for-15 performance from the line, and Jordan Clarkson added 24. The Jazz dropped their fifth straight game, with the five losses by a combined 17 points.
Domantas Sabonis, playing with a broken right thumb, had 21 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists to help the Kings win for the third time in four games.
Sabonis, playing with a broken right thumb, had 21 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists