Thunder rookie Jalen Williams leads the NBA in steals since Jan. 1
Jalen Williams produced his 10th 20-point game of the season on Friday to help the Oklahoma City Thunder snap a five-game losing streak with a win over the Utah Jazz.
Williams recorded 20 points, six rebounds, four assists, four steals and one blocked shot in the 130-103 victory. He finished by shooting 8-of-13 from the field, including 1-of-2 from 3-point range, in 33 minutes of work as the Thunder improved to 29-34 on the season.
The 12th pick had another strong night on defense, finishing a game-high plus-20 on the court. His four steals give him 79 on the season, which ranks 15th in the league. In fact, he has the most steals in the NBA since Jan. 1 with 58 in 27 games.
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Williams has been key for the Thunder and that role has elevated of late with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missing the past five games with an abdominal strain. He has scored at least 20 points four times in that stretch and is averaging 21.6 points, 5.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds.
The 21-year-old is emerging as a franchise cornerstone this season. The team was ecstatic to add him through the draft and believes he has a bright future ahead. He is showcasing what he can do on a nightly basis and that has resulted in some tremendous outings.
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