SAN FRANCISCO -- In a stunning display of skill and composure, rookie Chet Holmgren secured an overtime opportunity for the Thunder with an extraordinary shot against the Warriors. Standing at 7-1, Holmgren proved his agility as he maneuvered around a screen and expertly executed a full pirouette, all while staying within the boundaries of the court and behind the three-point line. With a wingspan of 7-foot-6, he elevated above the outstretched arms of Warriors defender Andrew Wiggins, sinking the shot with ease and precision. This flawless execution undoubtedly saved his team from an imminent loss.
Holmgren's clutch shot was the highlight of his highest-scoring game so far, as he contributed 36 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks to the Thunder's victory. His impressive performance places him in a league of his own, becoming the first rookie since 2019's Luka Doncic to achieve at least 35 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in a single game.
Throughout the match, Holmgren's dominance extended to the interior, where he capitalized on his height advantage against the smaller Warriors big men. Utilizing his length and finesse, he scored an impressive 10 field goals in the paint, showcasing his versatility and touch around the rim.
Thunder coach Mark Daigneault was quick to acknowledge Holmgren's ability to exploit mismatches resulting from defensive switches. Even veteran Chris Paul fell victim to Holmgren's prowess, as he watched him make a seemingly effortless jump hook over his outstretched arm, leading Holmgren to remark, "too small." This tenacity demonstrated Holmgren's willingness to adapt and challenge opponents in all areas of play.
Since his NBA debut, Holmgren has continued to astound with his exceptional capabilities. As a 7-footer, he is already on his way to accomplishing a remarkable feat no other player has achieved - averaging at least 17 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two blocks in a full season on impressive 50/40/90 shooting splits. At just 21 years old, Holmgren's potential for growth seems limitless, leaving fans and coaches eager to witness his development.
Looking ahead, Holmgren remains focused on refining his game and continues to learn alongside his Thunder teammates. His game-winning shot serves as a testament to his resilience and unyielding determination. Holmgren's ability to adapt to new challenges and his ever-improving understanding of the game have positioned him as a force to be reckoned with in the NBA.