In a heart-pounding showdown on Saturday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder trailed the Golden State Warriors by three points with a mere 1.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. It was a moment of desperation, and the Thunder needed a miracle to keep their hopes alive.
Josh Giddey inbounded the ball to the towering Chet Holmgren, positioned near the right corner of the 3-point line, with the formidable Andrew Wiggins defending him closely. Holmgren turned to face the basket and launched an almost impossible shot.
But as the buzzer sounded, the ball found its mark, swishing through the net, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Thunder coach Mark Daigneault later revealed that this remarkable play was executed precisely as planned.
Holmgren's Historic Rookie Performance
In his 13th NBA game, Holmgren etched his name in history with a career-best performance.
He finished the game with a stunning 36 points on 14-of-22 shooting, 10 rebounds, and five assists. His remarkable stat line made him the first rookie since Luka Doncic in 2019 to achieve a 35-10-5 game. The Thunder ultimately prevailed 130-123 in overtime.
Daigneault emphasized that Holmgren's performance was not an isolated incident but rather the culmination of his hard work and growth throughout the season. He highlighted the young team's potential and expressed the organization's commitment to nurturing their players' development.
The victory was a testament to the Thunder's resilience and the trust Coach Daigneault placed in his young star. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored 40 points, including 10 crucial points in overtime, referred to Holmgren's game-winning shot as something out of a movie.
Holmgren acknowledged that his night had flaws, including a shaky stretch leading up to his game-tying shot. However, he credited his coach for instilling confidence and emphasized the importance of making plays when it matters most.
The Thunder's victory over the Warriors marked the sixth consecutive loss for Golden State, with the team struggling to find its rhythm. Stephen Curry returned to action with 25 points after missing two games due to a left knee injury, and Klay Thompson contributed 31 points with a strong shooting performance.
Chet Holmgren's game-winning shot will be remembered not only for its breathtaking execution but also for the teamwork and trust displayed by the Thunder in a pivotal moment. As they continue to develop their young talent, the Thunder are making waves in the NBA, leaving fans eagerly anticipating their next electrifying performance.