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Josh Giday is blossoming before the eyes of the NBA world.

The Australian led the OKC Thunder brilliantly against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday (all-time AEDT), scoring both a season-high and team-high 26 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists midway through the fourth quarter.

It included Giddey making two tough drives to the hoop in the third; made a “too small” gesture to Nets big man Nick Claxton after the first and made it a one-and-one game in the second.

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Monday, January 16

Monday January 16th

It’s a bold move for Claxton, who is tied for first in the NBA in blocks (2.6 per game), while it came after Giddy and the big man entered the period and exchanged words during a tense scrimmage.

Giday continued his hot form in the fourth, scoring seven straight points for the Thunder to open the period to tie the score and finish with a season-high 26 points, two shy of his career high of 28.

“Consistency is a sign of progress for a young player. Josh Giddy on the verge of his 30th double-digit scoring night in his last 32 games,” Thunder sideline commentator Nick Gallo said of Giddy in the first half.

“He continues to score on the floor for how the Thunder want to play, in transition and with physicality on hard drives like when he drives to the rim.

“This is a guy who continues to work on his game. I spoke to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander about him, he said. “When you work hard and work on the right things, it will show. He really brings that effort inside, in the gym and in the weight room.”

“It’s just going to continue to develop for Josh, he’s not even 21, and we’re continuing to see him take steps forward.”

“Big Boy” Gidi is becoming confident. |: 00:29

It fueled a big run by the Thunder in the final period, putting the Nets up 99-92 with seven minutes left.

Claxton had a strong game of his own with 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks, while Seth Curry led the Nets with 19 points off the bench.

Giddey was scheduled to compete against Australia’s Ben Simmons for the first time in the contest, but back pain forced Simmons out late in the game, a blow to a Nets team trying to navigate without Kevin Durant. Due to an MCL injury.

Of course, Simmons missed all of last season, Giddy’s rookie campaign, in his trade showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers before being traded to Brooklyn. He was sidelined for the remainder of the season with back pain that required surgery.

What a PASSAGE! Simmons’ stunning assist | 01:37

Without Durant and now Simmons, the Nets are looking to bounce back from Friday’s loss to Boston, but remain second in the East at 27-14.

OKC, meanwhile, has won four of its last five games to improve to 20-23 and climb atop the West on the brink of a playoff spot.

Giddey was torn in that stretch and in the weeks leading up to it. Since Dec. 1, he’s averaging 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists and is shooting 50 percent from the field, 42 percent from downtown on 3.4 attempts and 94 percent from the line Thunder writer Scored by Derek Parker.




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