Jalen Williams called the game to send Thunder to a decisive win in the playoff race

Jalen Williams finished the game on a high score and came up with a clutch layup to hit the buzzer on Wednesday to lift that Oklahoma City Thunder to a key victory over the Detroit piston.

With Thunder a point behind and 7.3 seconds left, Josh Giddey caught the ball near the corner to maintain possession after a jump ball situation. His one-handed swimmer missed, but Williams was there to clean it up and convert the layup with 0.5 seconds left.

The Pistons failed to get a shot in time with no timeouts remaining, sending the Thunder to a 107-106 win at the Paycom Center.

“Of course it’s a big win” Williams told Nick Gallo of Bally Sports Oklahoma. “We had a lot of physical games. We have a lot of teams that come in here and give us their best. Just control what we can control. Obviously a great game at the end. Josh had a good shot, I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Williams had 27 points, eight rebounds, six assists and a blocked shot in 37 minutes. He recorded 10 points in the fourth quarter alone and finished the contest by converting 11 of his 19 shot attempts.

The 12th pick’s performance surpassed the 1,000-point mark for the season and became the third rookie to hit a game-winning shot this season AJ Griffin And Andreas Nembhard.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault described the shot as a great effort from the team.

I thought (Lu) Dort’s offensive rebound on the first try that led to the jump ball won the top and Josh followed that up and obviously Jalen was in position for the rebound. That’s just blood and guts, will games they’ve done at this point.

Williams’ efforts continued a strong run by the rookie of late.

He has at least 20 points in three straight games, including a 31-point performance on Tuesday in a loss to Charlotte. He is now one of four rookies to have multiple 30-point games (2) this season Paolo Banchero (5), Benedict Mathurin (2 and Jaden Ivey (2).

“His growth has been pretty consistent throughout the year,” Daigneault said of Williams. “He’s really grown steadily. He does a great job managing the game and himself, growing from his experiences. I think his improvement was a combination of learning and a slowdown in the game for him.”

The Thunder improved to 38-39 in the season with the win. They moved up to 10th in the Western Conference to retain the last play-in spot for the time being. With five games left, the group has a one-game lead over Dallas in 11th place.

“It’s fun,” Williams said. “It’s a blessing and a lot of fun. All glory to God in that regard, but it’s just plain fun. I’m just learning and trying to be in the team as much as possible.”

More Oklahoma City Thunder!

NBA Power Rankings: Grizzlies Soar; Mavericks have been fighting lately

JJ Redick explains why Jalen Williams is campaigning for Rookie of the Year

NBA Power Rankings: Kings Close to a Playoff Spot; Sixers stay hot in the East

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire

Source : sports.yahoo.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *