Canada basketball
Canada Basketball

Around the NBA: Nickeil Alexander-Walker pours in career-high performance



Jan 14, 2021

TORONTO, Ont. (January 14, 2021) -- Nickeil Alexander-Walker exploded for a career-high 37 points against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. Though the New Orleans Pelicans fell to the Clippers 111-107, it was Alexander-Walker who kept New Orleans close, pouring in 15 points in the third quarter alone. The sophomore sharpshooter from Toronto, Ont. was on fire throughout the game, making 15-of-23 field goals, including 5-of-8 three-point field goals in 33 minutes of action. In addition to setting a career-high in points, Alexander-Walker also added a career-high eight rebounds.

Big weekend for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

In a weekend road trip against the Knicks and Nets, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a pair of victories with his stellar play on both ends of the floor. On Friday, the Thunder picked up a 101-89 victory against the New York Knicks, as Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort faced fellow Canadian RJ Barrett. Gilgeous-Alexander flirted with a triple-double in the victory, finishing with 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 34 minutes as the Thunder overcame a slow start to take full control. Gilgeous-Alexander played 34 minutes and shot 9-for-14 from the floor, while making all three of his three-point attempts. “We just stick with it, no matter what it is,” Gilgeous-Alexander said after the game, of Oklahoma City’s ability to come back from large deficits.

Two days later, it was Gilgeous-Alexander who came through again, this time in a 126-119 win over the Brooklyn Nets. This time, the 22-year-old scored a game-high 31 points to go with six rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a blocked shot as the Thunder spoiled Kevin Durant’s return to the court after being sidelined for three games due to health and safety protocols. Gilgeous-Alexander was extremely efficient for OKC yet again, shooting 11-for-16 from the floor, 2-for-4 from beyond the arc and 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. Through 10 games, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging 20.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.3 assist and 1.0 steals per contest.

Free Throws

- Andrew Wiggins had a solid week of performances as he helped the Golden State Warriors win two of their last three games to move to 6-5 on the season. Wiggins had 16 points and six rebounds in a win against the Los Angeles Clippers, then followed that up with a 17-point, four-rebound, four-block performance in a thrilling 106-105 win against the Toronto Raptors. Though the Warriors fell 104-95 to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, Wiggins had his defence on display in a 22-point, seven-rebound, three-assist performance that also included a career-high five-blocked shots.

- Chris Boucher continues to put in strong performances for the Toronto Raptors. Though the Raptors are feeling their way through the start to the season with a string of extremely close losses, Boucher has made the most of his time on the court. In a comeback victory against the Sacramento Kings, Boucher finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, three blocks and a steal. He followed that up with a 15-point, six-rebound, six-block performance against the Golden State Warriors and then a 20-point, eight-rebound, three-block night against the Portland Trail Blazers. For the season, Boucher is averaging 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 22 minutes per game.

- Dillon Brooks had a 24-point performance in a 115-110 Grizzlies win over the Brooklyn Nets. He followed that up with 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals in a 101-91 Memphis win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. When it wasn’t Brooks coming up big for Memphis, it was fellow Canadian Brandon Clarke. The Vancouver-native helped the Grizzlies to their third straight win with a 118-107 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves, contributing a 19-point, nine-rebound, three-assist, three-steal performance on Wednesday.

- Though Steve Nash’s Brooklyn Nets got the 116-109 win over the New York Knicks, RJ Barrett had a strong night facing off against his godfather, finishing with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists on Wednesday. Barrett shot 7-for-15 from the floor and was 5-for-6 from the free-throw line. After the game, before the two teams parted ways, Nash and Barrett had a quick convo to catch up.

Game of the Week

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Denver Nuggets

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 9:00 p.m. ET

Canadian hoop fans will want to tune in on Tuesday night when the Thunder are in Denver to take on the Nuggets at Ball Arena. While the duo of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort have been excelling for Oklahoma City, Jamal Murray and Nuggets teammate Nikola Jokic have been putting in huge performances for Denver already this year. This will be the first game in a five-game road trip for the Thunder and the first of three meetings between the two teams this season.