In the summer of 2019, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was coming off of a strong rookie season for the Clippers and seemed like a point guard of the future for an L.A. team shifting focus a bit towards the future. However, when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George came available as a tandem via free agency and the trade market, Gilgeous-Alexander became the player centerpiece of the blockbuster that sent George to the Clippers and a boatload of picks to Oklahoma City for them to begin a complete teardown.
In the two years since landing with the Thunder, Gilgeous-Alexander has steadily taken strides towards stardom, inking a max extension this past summer in Oklahoma City. So far this season, Gilgeous-Alexander has been among the many players to see their shooting efficiency take a hit this year, but he has taken over at times to will the still rebuilding Thunder to some impressive wins. Their latest came on Saturday night against his old club, as Gilgeous-Alexander got to send the Clippers back to L.A. with a loss on a stepback three at the buzzer to turn a two-point deficit into a one-point win.
THE STEPBACK FROM SHAI @okcthunder get the win after the SGA #TissotBuzzerBeater! #ThisIsYourTime pic.twitter.com/k7nCKnWmLn
— NBA (@NBA) December 19, 2021
It is a tremendous shot, as he creates a huge amount of separation with that methodical stepback, giving himself a wide open look that, despite a 30 percent start to the season from three-point range, finds nothing but net. Shai finished the game with 18 points and six assists, hitting the timely game-winner to help out what was a sensational effort from Lu Dort, who had 29 points and five boards to lead the way for the Thunder against the George-less Clippers.