Home » Australians in the NBA – Josh reaches Giddey heights

Australians in the NBA – Josh reaches Giddey heights

When the going gets tough the tough get going, just ask Oklahoma City point guard Josh Giddey.

The Australian star had another night to remember in the NBA as he led the Thunder to a 128-103 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night (Saturday AEDT).

Giddey was dominant again in the absence of  All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (bruised thigh).

The 21-year-old scored a team-high 23 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds.

Giddey, City’s No.4 scorer, has been playing more like a first option lately and has helped the Thunder stay well-positioned for the post-season.

The Melburnian said he struggled early in the season as he battled with his shot.

“Probably the first, you know, 50 or so games, I used to overthink everything,” he said. “A lot of the time when I would touch the ball, I would think too much about what I’m doing.

“And it’s hard to play that way, it’s hard to play freely and comfortably when that’s what’s happening.”

He has made 65 per cent of his field goals in the three-game stretch.

“Now I’ve kind of changed my mindset going into games where it’s like, if teams are going to leave me open, I’m going to punish them and I’m going to make them pay and make them change their defensive scheme,” he said.

Giddey, who averages about 12 points, has averaged 26.3 in his past three games. He made 10 of 15 field goals against the Suns. 

Chet Holmgren scored 20 points for Oklahoma City, while Kevin Durant scored 26 points for the Suns.

In Miami, the Heat pummelled the Portland Trail Blazers 142-82.

Bam Adebayo posted 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in just three quarters as the Heat posted their largest victory margin in the franchise’s history.

The hosts (40-33) also dished out a franchise-record 41 assists.

Miami got a game-high 26 points along with 11 rebounds from reserve Thomas Bryant. 

Patty Mills also got in on the act. The Boomers veteran had 17 points and one assist in his 28 minutes on court. 

On the receiving end though were his Boomers teammates Duop Reath (six points and two rebounds in 14 minutes) and Matisse Thybulle (two assists in seven minutes).

In Sacramento, another Australian, Dante Exum, hit the winning three-pointer with 27.5 seconds to go as the Mavericks snuck past the home side 107-103.

Exum’s shot made it 106-103 and capped a second-half comeback for the Mavericks, who had trailed by 15 points.

The Aussie finished with eight points, three rebounds and two assists.

In Denver, Anthony Edwards scored 25 points in Minnesota’s 111-98 rout of the Nuggets.

The win sent the Timberwolves into a first-place tie in the Western Conference and the defending NBA champion Nuggets into third place.

The Nuggets (51-23) fell a half-game behind the Timberwolves and Oklahoma City. 

Orlando went down 100-97 at home to the Clippers, while Detroit beat hosts Washington 96-87.

The Indiana Pacers beat the LA Lakers 109-90, Charlotte lost 115-97 to Golden State, and Brooklyn defeated Chicago 125-108.

Cleveland proved too good for Philadelphia winning 117-114, San Antonio pipped the Knicks 130-126, and the visiting Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 101-100.