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Holly MacKenzie

Around the NBA: Gilgeous-Alexander continues to light up the scoreboard in OKC



Mar 14, 2022

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is on a mission. Since the NBA returned to action following the 2022 All-Star break, Gilgeous-Alexander has done everything in his power to remind those voting why he should have been in Cleveland as an All-Star.

The 23-year-old has been all but unstoppable on the offensive end of the floor, averaging 30.2 points in Oklahoma City’s nine games since the break. He has topped 30 points in seven of the nine and is averaging 27.8 points, 8.2 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.0 blocks per game for the month of March.

It’s been a tough stretch for the Thunder, who announced last week that Canadian Lu Dort would undergo surgery for a torn labrum in his shoulder and would miss the rest of the season, but the play of Gilgeous-Alexander has been a non-stop highlight reel.

In addition to his stellar all-around play on the offensive end of the court, Gilgeous-Alexander has also been bringing it defensively, making opponents work for every possession.

In Memphis, Dillon Brooks made his return to the court following a two-month absence to rehab an ankle sprain. Brooks had 15 points, two rebounds and four assists in 26 minutes in a 125-118 victory for the Grizzlies against Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder. Fellow Canadian Brandon Clarke added a 12-point, 10- rebound double-double in Sunday’s win.

After the game, Jaren Jackson Jr. celebrated his teammate’s return on Twitter.

The Dallas Mavericks have won seven of their last eight games and are eyeing a jump in the Western Conference standings. In a 113-100 victory against the Houston Rockets, Dwight Powell had a 26-point, 12-rebound double-double. He added three assists and two blocks in his 32 minutes, shooting 9-for-11 from the floor in the win. The 26 points tied Powell’s career-high.

The ninth-year veteran is averaging 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Mavericks this season, but his steadying presence and ability to anticipate and then provide whatever it is the team may need on any given night has been key for a Mavericks team currently a half-game back of the Utah Jazz for fourth in the Western Conference.

Back in New York, RJ Barrett continues his strong second half of the season, averaging 24.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the month of March. Barrett had a 29-point, eight-rebound, six-assists performance in a 131-115 win against the Sacramento Kings on Monday, following that up with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a huge 107-77 blowout victory against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. Barrett is averaging a career-best 19.3 points to go with 5.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists through 57 games in his third NBA season.

After dropping three straight, the Toronto Raptors hit the road and reeled off three straight victories against three quality opponents, including a nightmare road back-to-back against the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets. Chris Boucher bounced back from a quiet game against the Suns with a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double against the Nuggets in a thrilling 127-115 victory that saw Toronto take control late in the fourth and race to victory. Boucher added four blocks in his 30 minutes against the Nuggets.

The fifth-year big man is averaging 9.1 points and 6.0 rebounds for the Raptors this season. As Toronto heads to Los Angeles for games against the Lakers and Clippers to close out this six-game road trip, they will need Boucher to continue to bring his best.

The Golden State Warriors snapped a rare five-game losing streak and have now won three straight. At 46-22, the Warriors are in third place in the Western Conference and are a half-game back of the second-place Memphis Grizzlies.

In a 122-109 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, Wiggins contributed 21 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, rebounding from a quiet seven-point performance in a 113-102 Warriors win against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. Wiggins is averaging 17.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game in his eighth NBA season.

With five weeks to go in the regular season, expect lots more excitement in the games and weeks to come.