Canada's Gilgeous-Alexander continuing star turn with ascendant Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is leading the NBA's hottest young team on both ends of the floor.
The 25-year-old from Hamilton has the Oklahoma City Thunder on a five-game winning streak and boasting a 10-4 record, good for third in the Western Conference behind defending champion Denver (10-4) and Minnesota (10-3).
His season-best performance of 40 points in a 130-123 overtime comeback win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday showed just a bit of everything in his game.
Up 126-123 with 1:02 remaining in overtime, Gilgeous-Alexander blocked a three-point attempt from Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry. After teammate and fellow Canadian Lu Dort sprung Gilgeous-Alexander on the fastbreak, he made a contested layup to seal it.
"When one of your best offensive players is one of your best defensive players, it's huge," Thunder rookie centre Chet Holmgren said post-game Saturday. "He really ignites us on both ends with his energy, and especially in that overtime period, he had a huge stop that ended up leading to two points and really breaking the game out.
"It's huge having Shai out there, doing what he's doing, and we really feed off that."