Australian Josh Giddey has become the first NBA player in more than 50 years to score a triple-double in each of his first two appearances at the iconic Madison Square Garden.
In the Oklahoma City Thunder’s last visit to MSG, Giddey finished with 28 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in a 127-123 overtime victory on Valentines Day.
He did it again in the early hours of Monday morning as the Thunder downed the New York Knicks 145-135.
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Giddey had 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who picked up their fifth straight victory at MSG. Giddey joined Wilt Chamberlain (1968) as the only other player in NBA history to record triple-doubles during their first two games at the iconic venue.
Post-game, Giddey was humble and thanked his “unselfish” teammates in getting the win.
“Obviously it starts with our defence, we started a little slow on that end and allowed 48 in the first quarter,” he said.
“When we were good on that end we got out and ran in transition, things open up for everybody. It’s a fun group of guys to play with, unselfish, so good to get a win today.”
Elsewhere for the Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 37 points, Lu Dort 24, and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl 17 as the squad shot a season-high 62.5 per cent from the field to top off a strong night.
Six Knicks scored in double figures, led by Cam Reddish, who had a season-high 26 points. Julius Randle had 25 and Immanuel Quickley chipped in 24.
RJ Barrett, the Knicks’ second-leading scorer, got into foul trouble and was held to a season-low four points on two-of-10 shooting in 19 minutes.
The Thunder surpassed their season average for points (113.4) by scoring 122 points through three quarters. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 21 points in the third, and the Thunder used a 17-2 run to turn a three-point game into a rout.
The teams set a torrid pace from the outset, with New York putting up 48 first-quarter points, a season high for a single quarter. New York, which led by as many as 13, shot 64.5 per cent from the field in the first quarter and four of seven from 3-point range, with 12 assists on its 20 made field goals.
Oklahoma City set a season high by scoring 43 points in the second quarter, then duplicated it in the third. The Thunder made 74 per cent of their shots in the second and turned a 12-point deficit into a six-point halftime lead.
The Thunder, who outscored the Knicks by 18 in the second quarter, scored a season-high 79 first-half points and closed the frame with a 24-12 run.
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