By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Aleksej Pokusevski made history on Sunday night, becoming the youngest player in NBA history with 20+ points, 10+ rebounds, 5+ threes in a game according to StatMuse. The 19-years old forward led the Thunder to the 128-122 win over Memphis with 23 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, making 5/8 threes, including key buckets down the stretch.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, “Poku” also passed Kevin Durant as the youngest player in Thunder/SuperSonics franchise history to record a double-double, being 19 years, 78 days old.
The Grizzlies opened a 102-90 lead on Justise Winslow’s driving layup early in the fourth quarter. But the Thunder responded with a 14-2 run. Kenrich Williams tied it at 104 with a cutting layup with 8:38 left. Pokusevski’s 25-footer put Oklahoma City in front at 109-108 with 6:10 left.
“Now he knows what a game like tonight feels like, which gives him confidence,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.
“So, the next time he takes a step back, which he will, it’s part of development and it’s a part of competition, he’ll know that he can turn a corner. I think when you repeat that process and you keep getting those experiences, that’s where consistency and confidence come from.”
Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas had a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds for the losing side, as the Thunder managed to reach 17 wins. Memphis has the same number of positive results, but a better record with 17-18 and the 10th spot in the Western Conference standings compared to OKC’s 17-22, which is currently 11th.