Josh Giddey and his career night propelled the Thunder towards the playoffs with a 123-118 victory over the Pelicans, after they surged from the bottom half of the ladder and clawed their way into the play-in.
Josh Giddey’s tied career high of 31 points saw him become just the second player in postseason history to tally a 30-point, 10-assist game as a 20-year old, joining rookie Derrick Rose.
As well, their new core of Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, Lu Dort and Giddey combined for 90/19/14 while shooting a 52/45/91 split in the first playoff game they’ve ever participated in.
Amazingly, Giddey’s high score was bested by none other than his teammate SGA after he recorded 32 points, five rebounds and three assists.
“We’ve been battle tested. We’ve played in a lot of close games all year, for the past couple of years,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.
“Even when the season wasn’t going our way, we played in a lot of close games and we have good habits and we know what gets it done down the stretch.”
The win eliminated the ninth seeded Pelicans and advances tenth seed Thunder to face Minnesota for the chance at clinching the eighth seed and a playoffs spot.
Giddey seemed locked in and ready for the next task after the game.
“It was pretty much everything I expected. Hostile crowd,” Giddey said.
“As a kid I grew up wanting to be part of these moments. None of these moments rattle any of our guys and we’ll be ready for Minnesota.”
survive and advance.
— josh giddey (@joshgiddey) April 13, 2023
FiveThirtyEight suggests the Thunder have a 24 percent chance at making the playoffs, and less than a 0.1 percent chance at making the NBA Finals.
They will get a chance to prove the statistics wrong when they face the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Sunday at 9:30PM ET.