Giddey and Exum Come up Clutch in Late Season Wins

Julian Miller
By: Julian Miller
09/04/2024
News
BettingTop10 News
Big Plays from Giddey and Exum Lead to Crucial Wins

Both Josh Giddey and Dante Exum helped their respective teams to pivotal wins as the NBA regular season nears its end.  

News Insights

  • Giddey leads Thunder to big win over Hornets.
  • Exum plays hero for the Mavericks.
  • Thunder keeps their chance at the one-seed alive.
  • Mavericks take step in the right direction to avoid play-in.

With the wrapping up of the NBL season last week, all Australian basketball eyes now turn to the NBA, where a pair of Australia’s top talents in Josh Giddey and Dante Exum showed out in late season wins for their respective teams.   

Giddey Shows up in a Big Way 

Oklahoma City has been one of the league’s biggest surprises this season. The young squad exceeded all expectations up to this point and have hovered around the top of the Western Conference all season long.  
 
An MVP caliber jump from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a second-year leap from Jalen Williams, and a massive rookie year from Chet Holmgren have led the way for the Thunder.  
 
Lost in the mix for much of the season has been Josh Giddey. The young Australian hasn’t had the ball as much given the breadth of talent around him and because of this his counting stats have taken a hit.  
 
His averages of 25 minutes a night, 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists are all career lows. However, with Shai having been injured for the teams last four games, Giddey has had more of the ball and has stepped it up over the last couple games.  
 
After a three-game losing streak without their MVP candidate, Giddey showed up in a big way to get a much-needed victory on the road in Charlotte.  
 
The Aussie played 37 minutes en route to his 11th career triple double with 20 points, 13 assists, and 13 rebounds.  
 
Giddey shot the ball efficiently going 7/15 from the floor, 5/6 from the free throw line, and 1/1 from three.  
 
He also paced the Thunder in the plus/minus category at +15.  
 
Giddey seemed back to his old self in many ways. He controlled the game with his decision-making and calm manner, making the right reads off screen and rolls along with drive and kicks.  
 
The Thunder shot a blistering 18-32 from deep, much of which can be attributed to Giddey’s decision making and terrific passing ability.  
 
The big game came at a perfect time for a team desperate for a victory against the lowly Hornets.  

Exum with a Defining Moment 

Elsewhere in the NBA, fellow Australian Dante Exum came up huge in the dying seconds of regulation for his Dallas Mavericks.  
 
Down by three with less than ten seconds to go, the Mavericks found a bit of luck with Jabari Smith Jr. of Houston missing two free throws, either of which would have essentially sealed the game for the Rockets.  
 
PJ Washington grabbed the rebound and got the ball to Exum who sent it up the court to Luka Doncic. Expecting the superstar Slovenian to have a go himself, the Rockets doubled him, giving Exum an open look from three.  
 
Doncic made the correct decision, sending the ball back to Exum who sent up the shot which found the mesh as the final buzzer was sounding.  

The Mavericks would go on to win 147-136 in overtime. 

Exum’s overall stat line of 14 points, nine rebounds, and two assists doesn’t jump off the page, but his buzzer beater led to the crucial win for Dallas.  

Western Conference Playoff Race Update 

Both Oklahoma City and Dallas are in the midst of playoff races in the tightly contested Western Conference making the Aussie’s contributions all the more important.  
 
Thanks to the win, OKC still sits just one game back of both Denver and Minnesota for the top seed in the West and kept their three-game cushion over the Clippers intact.  
 
The Mavericks are in a much different race as the win put some breathing room between them and the play-in games.  
 
Currently the fifth seed, they are now two games up on both Phoenix and New Orleans. 

Two of Australia’s brightest NBA talents were able to come through for their teams in pivotal games amidst a flooded Western Conference playoff picture. Josh Giddey and Dante Exum will look to continue making Aussies proud as the playoffs roll around.  

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