Los Angeles Clippers’ Canadian point-guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his outstanding rookie year by setting a career-high with 25 points in game four of their best of seven series against the defending champions Golden State Warriors.
Forced into a must-win scenario, the 20-year-old put forth his best game scoring game of the season — connecting on 9-of-15 field goal attempts, 3-of-5 three-pointers — including a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line to become the youngest Canadian and just the eighth player to score 20-plus points in NBA playoff game.
Gilgeous-Alexander got off to a hot start, scoring 14 of his 25 points in the opening quarter – the most by an NBA rookie since 2003 and a Clippers’ franchise rookie scoring record.
Other Canadians to hit the 20-plus scoring mark in the NBA playoffs include Rick Fox, Steve Nash, Samuel Dalembert, Kelly Olynyk, Jamal Murray, Cory Joseph, Andrew Wiggins and Tristan Thompson. However, none of them managed to do it faster than Shai, at age 20–283 days
Unfortunately for the Clippers’, Gilgeous-Alexander career-high wasn’t enough to prevent the defending champs from taking a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 113-108 win.
With one game likely remaining, Gilgeous-Alexander has had the best rookie season by a Canadian since Andrew Wiggins won the 2014-2015 NBA Rookie of the year award.
Gilgeous-Alexander will continue to make strides this summer as he, alongside Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets) and Cory Joseph (Indiana Pacers) are the three front-runners to lead Canada’s backcourt at the upcoming 2019 FIBA World Cup.
At only 17 years old, Gilgeous-Alexander was named to Canada’s senior men’s national for Canada’s last chance Olympic qualifying tournament on July 2016. Leo Rautins’ is the youngest ever to be named to the national team at the sweet tender age of 16.