The Oklahoma City Thunder came up just short on Tuesday night, losing in heartbreaking fashion to the Miami Heat, 112-111. Despite the result, the night was still a memorable one for Thunder guard Josh Giddey, who recorded a triple-double in his 90th career game and joined an exclusive club in the process.
His versatility was on display all night long, as he finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the season. With those numbers, Giddey reached 1,000 points, 700 rebounds and 500 assists for his career, and became just the fourth player ever to do so in his first 100 games. The others are Luka Doncic (85 games), Ben Simmons (85) and Grant Hill (100).
Giddey didn't have the best shooting night -- 8 of 18 from the field and 0 of 4 from 3-point land -- but he was relentless crashing the glass and put on another entertaining passing display. Whether it was out of the mid-post, on the drive or out on the break, Giddey made a number of terrific reads.
🙌 @joshgiddey recorded his sixth career triple-double as the @okcthunder fell in a nail-biter in Miami #ThunderUp— NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) January 11, 2023
📊 18 PTS | 15 REB | 10 AST pic.twitter.com/gbOELf3sDv
The No. 6 overall pick out of Australia in the 2021 NBA Draft, Giddey burst onto the scene last season thanks in large part to his flashy passing. He became the youngest player in league history to post a triple-double and he eventually earned a spot on the All-Rookie Second Team.
He got off to a slow start this season, but he's really come on strong since December to prove that his rookie season was more than just entertaining. Through the first 36 games, he's averaging 15.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.6 assists -- numbers that are good for second, first and first on the team, respectively. Among all sophomores in the league, Giddey is fourth in scoring, third in rebounding and second in assists; no other player is in the top-four in all three categories.
With their loss to the Heat, the Thunder dropped to 18-23 on the season. And while that's the seventh-worst mark in the league, it also has the Thunder just 2.5 games out of a top-six seed in the crowded Western Conference. This isn't the type of all-out tanking season that many may have expected; the Thunder are competitive, and Giddey is a major reason why.