MINNEAPOLIS — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s goal was to play a better all-around game. He did that and then some.
Gilgeous-Alexander had 20 points, a career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in his first triple-double, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
“Coach had challenged me before the game to fill up the stat sheet more and do more things,” Gilgeous-Alexander said of Thunder coach Billy Donovan. “Because he thought, as well as myself thought, that I was more capable of what I was doing.”
Gilgeous-Alexander came in averaging 23.7 points in his previous 13 games but did much more than score in this one, also matching his career best in assists. At 21 years, 185 days old, he became the youngest player in league history to record at least 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game.
“He’s tough. He’s very tough,” Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins said. “He’s a big guard that can put it on the floor and create for others, and he’s a bucket. He can make a bucket when he needs to.”
Gilgeous-Alexander is the fourth second-year player in NBA history to register a 20-20 triple-double. He joins Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Oscar Robertson. The only other guard to have a 20-20 triple-double in the past 30 seasons is former Thunder star Russell Westbrook.
Gilgeous-Alexander did not record an assist in 35 minutes against the Lakers on Saturday.
“I just felt like we were on our heels a little bit in the previous game against the Lakers,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “That was one of the things that Coach mentioned to us: attacking first. I felt we did that as a group. When you attack as a group, you get more comfortable faster.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.