OKC Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander makes history with 20-rebound triple double
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander returned to yesteryear in Minneapolis on Monday night.
Remember when every Thunder game included various images of Russell Westbrook rebounding like a madman, often stealing rebounds from his own team? That happened Monday night in the Thunder’s 117-104 victory over the Timberwolves – and I’m OK with that.
A game after the Thunder was hammered by the Lakers on the boards, SGA seemed to be saying, OK, I’m getting serious about rebounding.
So Gilgeous-Alexander went after every missed Minnesota shot like it was the jewel of the Nile. He had seven defensive rebounds in the first quarter, and the T-Wolves had only 10 missed shots, plus one foul shot that was reboundable, in that period. Go back and read that again. Out of 11 potential defensive rebounds in the first quarter, Gilgeous-Alexander got seven of them.
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SGA had two rebounds in the second quarter, then had eight defensive rebounds in the third quarter, a period in which Minnesota missed 15 shots and one foul shot. So Gilgeous-Alexander got half of the available defensive rebounds. That’s an astounding percentage.
He finished with 20 rebounds – to go with 20 points and 10 assists, providing the first Thunder triple-double in the post-Russell Westbrook era. SGA came into the game averaging 5.3 rebounds a game.
Gilgeous-Alexander played like a man inspired. Now, I don’t know if the Thunder needs SGA to go pell-mell after every rebound, the way Westbrook did. Steven Adams just needs a little help.
But SGA’s commitment to shoring up a weakness is quite laudable. And oh, by the way, it put him in quite the NBA company.
In the history of the NBA, only 98 times had a 20/20/10 triple double been recorded – at least 20 points, at least 20 rebounds and at least 10 assists.
There are no lightweights on the list.
Westbrook did it once – last April 2, against the Lakers, with 20 points, 20 rebounds and 21 assists.
In the 2000s, only seven times before Westbrook had the 20/20/10 feat been accomplished – three times by DeMarcus Cousins, once by David Lee, twice by Kevin Garnett and once by Tim Duncan.
The leader of 20/20/10s is Wilt Chamberlain, who did it 44 times.
Elgin Baylor did it 10 times. Oscar Robertson did it eight times. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it five times.
Maurice Stokes, the great 1950s center who was paralyzed after injuries suffered in a game, did it four times. Bill Russell did it thrice.
Dave Cowens, Fat Lever, George McGinnis and Billy Cunningham did it twice each. Bob Pettitt, Larry Johnson, Ray Scott, Paul Silas, Nate Thurmond, Chris Webber, Maurice Lucas, Guy Rodgers and Charles Barkley did it once each.
Now Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has joined the club. It was his first triple double. And it was spectacular.