‘A hell of a shot’: Chet Holmgren comes up clutch en route to first 30-point game

Rookie Chet Holmgren came up with a clutch 3-pointer to force overtime and finished with a career performance on Saturday to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a win over the Golden State Warriors.

With the Thunder trailing by three points and 1.6 seconds left in regulation, Josh Giddey found Holmgren in the corner off of the inbound pass for the game-tying shot as time expired. The shot splashed in, and the two teams went to overtime.

From there, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder in the extra time to the 130-123 victory, scoring 10 of his 40 points in the period. Holmgren finished with a career-high 36 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

He felt good about the shot once it left his hands.

“There were a few different options on the play, depending on what ended up being open,” Holmgren said. “I was kind of the end of it and, at that point, it was just go make a play, so credit to Josh for finding me there. From there, it was a good shot. It felt good coming out of my hands, and it went in.”

Holmgren became the third rookie this season to score 30 or more points in a game, joining San Antonio Spurs forward Victor Wembanyama (38) and New Orleans Pelicans guard Jordan Hawkins (31). He shot 14-of-22 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range, in 37 minutes.

The former second pick did the bulk of his work down low, hitting 10 total shots in the paint. The team made a concerted effort to get the 7-footer near the rim more to take advantage of the smaller defenders.

“The advantage isn’t going to be in my hands if I’m trying to be all pretty on the perimeter all game long,” Holmgren said. “I can’t have too much pride, I guess, to get in there and get dirty, whether it’s getting touches in the paint or fighting on the glass, especially in that second half. I had a couple of offensive rebounds and a couple of plays that added possessions for us. Just get in there and make the winning play.”

The performance further illustrated how Holmgren can impact games on a nightly basis. He has a unique skill set to score at all three levels that has been proven tough to slow down for bigs and smaller players that are switched onto him.

Holmgren even flashed his ability to come up with a clutch shot to send the game to overtime. He has already earned the trust of the coaching staff and his teammates to take those shots and is impressing them each time he takes the court.

“(I was in) disbelief,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “It just seemed crazy. It felt like a movie in the moment, but hats off to Chet; a hell of a shot.”

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire