Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had the experience. The Oklahoma City Thunder guard was cool under pressure and had experience in the playoffs as his club, the No. 10 seed, headed to New Orleans to play the Pelicans on Wednesday night. Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder to a 123-118 victory after having one of his statistically worst first halves of the season. This victory allowed Oklahoma City to compete for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
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“It would have been easy for him to come out of halftime pressing, trying to get his game going, but he let it come to him naturally,” Giddey said. “He finished with  after a tough first half. That just speaks to how good of a player he is.”
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After one of his worst first halves of the season statistically, Gilgeous-Alexander scored 25 second-half points Gilgeous-Alexander scored 32 points, while Giddey had 31 points, ten assists, and nine rebounds. Gilgeous-Alexander has participated in 13 playoff games, including a seven-game series with the Thunder in the 2020 playoffs. Following that campaign, the franchise decided to rebuild and dealt Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns.
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Giddey did a little bit of everything for Oklahoma City, and his ability to play both on and off-ball opens things up in a big way for Oklahoma City’s offense. Given how advanced his feel for the game is, it’s easy to forget that he’s just 20 years old. But he is, and that means he’s just barely scratched the surface of his potential. Having one great young guard is a luxury for a team, and the Thunder have two in Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey. Six lead changes and five ties occurred in the fourth quarter, but the Thunder finally took control of the game when Gilgeous-Alexander made a driving layup with 28.3 seconds left.