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Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s reaction to playing Kevin Durant proves his star turn

Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Durant

The Oklahoma City Thunder scored a huge win on Sunday night, defeating the Brooklyn Nets in the Barclays Center, 129-116. Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had himself another tremendous outing, as he went toe to toe against one of the best players in the league right now in Kevin Durant.

After the game, SGA admitted that he relished the opportunity to face off against the Nets superstar:

“I love challenges like that,” Gilgeous-Alexander said, via Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder. “I just wanted to compete. We had to guard him, and he was going to have to guard me.”

Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 31 points on 11-of-16 shooting, to go along with two triples, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and a block in 36 minutes of play.

Not to be outdone, Durant went for 36 points on 11-of-21 from the floor, with two treys, 11 boards, four assists, and a block.

It was a duel for the ages, with neither player willing to back down. At the end of the day, this battle served as proof that Gilgeous-Alexander is no longer a rising star — he’s already arrived.

After the game, Thunder swingman Hamidou Diallo spoke about the animated nature of the usually mild-mannered SGA throughout the contest:

“People don’t know when Shai gets going, he gets going,” Diallo said. “And he’s gonna talk about it and bring swag to the game.”

Get it going he certainly did.

Most importantly, however, Gilgeous-Alexander led his squad to victory against Durant, himself the former cornerstone superstar of the Thunder, and his Brooklyn Nets.