Kendra Andrews, ESPNNov 19, 2023, 02:31 AM ET
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SAN FRANCISCO — Down by three with 1.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter, the Oklahoma City Thunder were looking for a little luck to extend the game five minutes longer Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors.
Josh Giddey inbounded the ball to center Chet Holmgren, who stood near the right corner of the 3-point line with Andrew Wiggins pushed right up against him. Holmgren turned to face the basket and launched a shot toward the hoop.
Maybe Holmgren got lucky, but Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said it was exactly how they drew up the play.
“Especially the part of the ball going in,” Daigneault joked.
In just his 13th game, Holmgren delivered a clutch 3 at the buzzer to force overtime and finished with a career-best 36 points on 14-of-22 shooting, 10 rebounds and five assists, becoming the first rookie with a 35-10-5 game since Luka Doncic in 2019. The Thunder won 130-123.
Daigneault said this wasn’t an “epiphany” game for Holmgren — a night that revealed the player that he can or will become after being the No. 2 pick of the 2022 draft. He said it was an accumulation of