Australian sensation Josh Giddey has set the biggest stage in the NBA alight with an electric display that broke all sorts of records.
Josh Giddey has continued his record-breaking debut NBA season, notching up his third triple-double in a scintillating performance on the league’s biggest stage.
The Australian rookie had a career-high 28 points, along with 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s upset over time win over the New York Knicks.
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In the absence of injured teammate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Giddey was the main man for the Thunder and was in the thick of the action from the get-go at New York’s famous Madison Square Garden.
He got off to a flyer in the first few minutes and ran rings around the Knicks on their home court. At one stage, Giddey had either scored or assisted 10 of the Thunder’s first 12 points.
The teenager was scoring with ease, cutting through the paint for a rare dunk and draining a long three-pointer.
One of Giddey’s highlights plays came in overtime, when he dissected the Knicks’ defence with a beautiful spin move and somehow found Derrick Favors with a delicate pass, setting him up for an easy dunk.
OKC dominated overtime and Giddey gave his team breathing room with a couple of free throws as the Thunder ran out 127-123 winners.
The 19-year-old is just the second rookie ever to post back-to-back triple-doubles and has now posted the three ‘youngest’ triple-doubles in NBA history.
His haul of 28 points also the most scored by an Australian at MSG, surpassing Patty Mills’ best of 26 points.
Giddey also joined seriously elite company as just the fourth player — after Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson and Chuck Person — to have a triple-double in the first game in Madison Square Garden.
NBA fans were in awe of his composure on the big stage and how he carved up the more fancied Knicks with ease.
Sports Illustrated host Robin Ludberg tweeted: “Josh Giddey having his way at MSG.”
Yahoo Sports’ Gake Ikard said: “Josh Giddey is having himself a night in Madison Square Garden!!”
OKC beat writer Brandon Rahbar said: “Josh Giddey is in complete control of this game”.
NBA writer Alder Almo added: “Josh Giddey is so smart. He’s too good, bending the Knicks’ defence tonight. Thunder struck gold in one of their gazillion of lottery picks.”
Legendary NBA play-by-play commentator Mike Breen declared: “He’s got a chance to be a great, great player”, adding: “Giddey has been marvellous”.
“For a young player he’s got amazing court vision,” he said.
Aussie NBA podcaster Leigh Ellis joked: “MSG actually stands for Massive Stage Giddey”.
Speaking after the game, Giddey confessed he had been looking forward to playing in Madison Square Garden.
“Obviously I had this game circled on my calendar coming to New York,” he said.
“(It’s the) most famous stadium in the world so I was looking forward to this game.
“This was the place coming into the draft I was most excited to play.
“To be here undermanned on the road with a young team and to win like we did in overtime, big win.
“This was a big win for us and we needed it. We fought the full 53 minutes and we got the job done.”
Giddey humbly deflected praise when asked about his record-breaking triple-double feats.
“My teammates make things really easy for me,” he said.
“They get in the right spots, they make shots. I get assists but if they’re not making the shots then it doesn’t look as good.”