You can probably count on one hand how many players have blocked one of James Harden’s step-back three-point attempts. Well, add Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Josh Okogie to that short list.
In the third quarter of their meeting on Wednesday night, Harden tried to dance around Okogie, first attempting to get him to bite on a behind-the-back crossover, but it wasn’t happening.
Then, with the shot clock winding down, Harden decided to take a step-back three, which Okogie read absolutely perfectly and stuffed:
Okogie swatted Harden's step-back 🤭 pic.twitter.com/c1Fstbh6nd
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 14, 2019
Now that is a block.
It wasn’t even like Okogie just get a fingertip on it or blocked the shot after Harden released it. He sent it right back at Harden before the ball even came out of the star’s hands.
That was filthy.
The Timberwolves then went on to win the game by a score of 121-111, with Okogie posting 16 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Harden finished with 42 points, extending his streak of games with 30 or more points to 31 straight.
On the season overall, Okogie is averaging 7.4 points, three rebounds and one steal over 22.5 minutes per game while shooting 36 percent from the floor, 25.7 percent from three-point range and 76 percent from the free-throw line.
The 20-year-old, who played his collegiate basketball at Georgia Tech, was selected by Minnesota in the first round (20th pick overall) of the NBA Draft back in June.
With the win, the Timberwolves improved to 27-30 in what has been an incredibly disappointing season overall for them. They enter the All-Star break on a short two-game winning streak, but also having lost six of their last nine games.