Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Oklahoma City Thunder Outduel Los Angeles Clippers

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got the better of his former team on Tuesday night, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a narrow 101-100 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. The newly-minted All-Star tallied 31 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Gilgeous-Alexander hit 12 of his 25 field goal attempts and six of his seven free throws. Amazingly, it was his 40th 30+ point game of the season, the most by a Thunder player since Russell Westbrook in 2018-19. He thoroughly outperformed Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, whose arrival in 2019 necessitated trading Gilgeous-Alexander to the Thunder along with multiple first-round picks. SGA has also outdone them all season: his 31.4 points per game this season are fourth in the NBA.

With last night's win, the Thunder move to 36-36 and seventh in the Western Conference. They're one of the league's most pleasant surprises this season, and they still have a realistic chance of climbing out of the play-in tournament: they're only a half-game behind the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors. Given Gilgeous-Alexander's miraculous ascent to the NBA's elite at only 24 years old and the team's unparalleled trove of future draft assets, the Thunder's future appears incredibly bright.

The Thunder face the Los Angeles Clippers yet again in a Thursday night rematch. 

Photo Credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports