Theo Maledon joins Westbrook in Thunder history after career night

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Cody Taylor
·2 min read
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Theo Maledon turned in a career performance and Aleksej Pokusevski helped make NBA history but the efforts from the two rookies were not enough as the shorthanded Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Phoenix Suns.

Maledon on Friday produced a career-high 33 points, five rebounds and three assists to lead the Thunder, who were without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort and Darius Bazley. Maledon finished by shooting 10-of-18 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range.

He joined Russell Westbrook as the only two rookies in franchise history to score 30 points in a game. His 33 points were just one shy of the rookie record, set by Westbrook.

Meanwhile, Pokusevski recorded 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes of work. He converted on 7-of-14 shots from the field, with four coming from beyond the arc. His 20-point effort was just the third of the season with the Thunder.

With the two performances, Maledon and Pokuševski became the first pair of teammates in NBA history under the age of 20 to score at least 20 points in the same game.

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The scoring explosion by Maledon was not the first time he joined Westbrook in a bit of team history. In February, Maledon dished out 12 assists to tie Westbrook for the most in a game by a rookie in Thunder history.

The second-round pick has emerged as a key contributor for the Thunder this season and has played some of his best basketball as of late. He turned in his best month in March, averaging 11.3 points over 12 games, while he is averaging 18 points and six rebounds over his last five contests.

The Thunder have gone all-in on building toward the future and appear to have found a key building block in Maledon. With dozens of future draft picks in the cupboard, the Thunder project to be a team on the rise for years to come.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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