Canada's Gilgeous-Alexander racks up 1st triple-double to help Thunder down Wolves
Canadian point guard puts down 20 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists in victory
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's goal was to play a better all-around game. He did that and then some.
Gilgeous-Alexander, of Hamilton, Ont., had 20 points, a career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in his first triple-double, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
"Coach had challenged me before the game to fill up the stat sheet more and do more things," Gilgeous-Alexander said. "Because he thought, as well as myself thought, that I was more capable of what I was doing."
Gilgeous-Alexander came in averaging 23.7 points in his previous 13 games but did much more than score in this one, also matching his career best in assists. He became the youngest player in league history to record at least 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game.
"He's tough. He's very tough," Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins said. "He's a big guard that can put it on the floor and create for others, and he's a bucket. He can make a bucket when he needs to."
Gilgeous-Alexander is the fourth second-year player in NBA history to register a 20-20 triple-double. He joins Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson. The only other guard to have a 20-20 triple-double in the last 30 seasons is former Thunder star Russell Westbrook.
"I just wanted to step up to the challenge..."<a href="https://twitter.com/shaiglalex?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@shaiglalex</a> discusses his performance as he became the youngest player in <a href="https://twitter.com/NBAHistory?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBAHistory</a> to record 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists in a game! <a href="https://t.co/vHTurLwQjm">pic.twitter.com/vHTurLwQjm</a>—@NBA
That after Gilgeous-Alexander did not record an assist in 35 minutes against the Lakers on Saturday.
"I just felt like we were on our heels a little bit in the previous game against the Lakers," Gilgeous-Alexander said. "That was one of the things that Coach mentioned to us, attacking first. I felt we did that as a group. When you attack as a group, you get more comfortable faster."
For Minnesota, fellow Canadian Wiggins scored 10 points in the first half but was held scoreless in the second half.
The Thunder return to action when they host the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.