Josh Giddey shines with ‘best game of the season’ amid NBA trade rumours in OKC Thunder win vs Boston Celtics

Josh Giddey had his best game of the NBA season as the Oklahoma City Thunder downed the Boston Celtics 127-123 in a playoff-like game on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old guard nailed four three-pointers and finished with a season-high 23 points along with eight rebounds and six assists.

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It was a statement win by the Thunder over Eastern Conference leaders and NBA championship favourites the Celtics.

OKC led by 18 points in the fourth quarter before Boston mounted a comeback, but Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s 36 points and two clutch free throws by Giddey shut the door on the Celtics.

Free throws win basketball games and Giddey nailed his two attempts from the line to put the result beyond doubt.

Giddey’s performance continues his impressive recent form and equalled his career-high haul of four three-pointers against the Brooklyn Nets on New Year’s Day.

The victory extends OKC’s winning streak to a league-best five games and takes their win-loss record to an impressive 23-9, placing them second in the Western Conference behind the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Described as the odd man out in OKC’s free flowing offence unlocked by Chet Holmgren and an improving bench, Giddey has been mentioned in trade rumours as the Thunder look to find a complementary big man to help them make a deep playoff run.

But his performance against the Celtics was just the type of display that might give Thunder general manager Sam Presti pause for thought.

Gilgeous-Alexander said of Giddey post-game: “He’s adjusting to the NBA adjusting to his style of play. He works hard, I expected it.”

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault praised his team’s “uncommon ability to block out the noise”.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor said in November it would be in the best interest of both parties to facilitate a trade.

“Giddey is the trade piece. Simple as that,” O’Connor told The Mismatch podcast.

“They have to trade Giddey for a big. They need a big next to Chet Holmgren in the front court.

“I like Giddey a lot. It’s nothing against him individually as a player. It’s about the greater good of the team and probably the greater good for the team too. It’s not a great fit for him.

“I don’t think the fit is great and I worry about his jump shot.

“I think with Giddey he’s a great young player who is going to have a long, successful career but it might not be in Oklahoma City.”

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