Holmgren produced a season-high 24 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block in the 141-139 loss on the first night of the in-season tournament. He went 7-of-9 from the field, hitting both of his 3-point attempts.
The 21-year-old flashed each element of his game in the contest, from his ability to run the point to working down in the post to shooting from deep. He also had a nice step-through move in the paint for the easy bucket over Andrew Wiggins.
Afterward, Holmgren swapped jerseys with Stephen Curry, who had 30 points. Holmgren previously attended his camp in 2019 and had a moment against him, which Curry hasn’t forgotten about.
“The jersey swap and the history we have: He crossed me up at my own camp,” Curry said. “To see him now back healthy and playing, and playing well, it is fun to see.”
Steph Curry and Chet Holmgren swapped jerseys 🔥 pic.twitter.com/57tAYjK4u4
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 4, 2023
Holmgren and Curry were even matched up on each other a few times.
On one sequence, Curry was switched onto Holmgren in the post and the rookie spun around him for the easy dunk. Later, Holmgren picked up Curry on a drive and the former two-time MVP floated in a shot over his outstretched arms.
Curry has been impressed by Holmgren.
He is challenging because he really wants it. He goes after it. He puts himself in a position to make those plays. Offensively, he is ridiculously talented. He is a tough cover for bigs, a tough cover for guards if you switch because he can get from A to B pretty quick. He has got good finishing, length. You have to respect him at all three levels. He is just getting started.
Said Holmgren of facing Curry: “He is definitely a guy you gotta know where he is at all times. It was a cool, full-circle moment. Going to his camp and now being in the league with him and competing. That’s what it’s all about. I want to go out there and compete with these dudes, and they want to do the same. It was great.”
The first matchup of the season went to Curry and the Warriors, though the two teams will play each other two more times in a back-to-back set in California on Nov. 16-18.
Holmgren and the Thunder will be looking to take a game or two.
“They’re up, 1-0, on us,” Holmgren said. “We just gotta continue to get better for when we see them down the line.”