In the absence of Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey leads with 23 points as the Oklahoma City dominate the Phoenix Suns with a 128-103 victory

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City vs Suns (Credits: Yard Breaker)

Oklahoma City’s fourth-highest scorer has been stepping up lately, playing more like a top option.

Josh Giddey scored 23 points in the Thunder’s big 128-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night, even though Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was out with a bruised thigh.

Giddey, usually averaging around 12 points, has been averaging 26.3 points in the last three games. He shot 10 of 15 against Phoenix and also contributed nine assists and seven rebounds. His performance is helping the Thunder maintain a strong position in the Western Conference, tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the best record.

Giddey admitted he had some struggles earlier in the season, especially with his shooting when teams left him open. “In the first 50 games or so, I tended to overthink everything,” he said. “I would often hesitate when I had the ball, which made it hard to play freely and comfortably.”

He’s been shooting an impressive 65% from the field in these recent games. The Thunder managed to compensate for Gilgeous-Alexander’s absence collectively. Chet Holmgren scored 20 points, while Jalen Williams and Cason Wallace each added 16.

Despite missing Gilgeous-Alexander, who averages 30.4 points per game, the Thunder still shot 56.3% and made 16 of 30 3-pointers.

City vs Suns (Credits: AP News)

Kevin Durant scored 26 points for the Suns, but Thunder fans haven’t forgotten his departure to the Golden State Warriors after the 2015-16 season. They booed him during introductions and whenever he had the ball. Oklahoma City won all three games against the Suns this season, but Durant downplayed its significance.

Bradley Beal had 15 points and Devin Booker added 14 for the Suns, who are trying to avoid the Play-In Tournament. They began the night in seventh place in the Western Conference, just half a game behind the Dallas Mavericks for sixth.

The Thunder shot an impressive 62% in the first half, leading 70-59 at halftime. Isaiah Joe scored all 14 of his points in the first half, making all four of his 3-point attempts. They hit 8 of 11 threes before halftime.

Their strong shooting continued into the third quarter, with Aaron Wiggins contributing a steal and a layup to extend the lead to 90-68. The Thunder finished the third quarter with a 101-80 lead.

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By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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