NBA: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scores 35, Thunder top Pelicans
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 35 points and the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 110-96 on Saturday night.
Josh Giddey scored 19, Jalen Williams added 17 and Gilgeous-Alexander made 13 of 13 free throws as the Thunder shot 27 of 32 from the foul line. The Pelicans made 16 of 19 free throws.
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OKC, which bounced back from its most-lopsided loss of the season (132-101 on Wednesday at Phoenix) while Gilgeous-Alexander was sidelined, salvaged one game in the finale of the four-game season series against New Orleans.
CJ McCollum scored 26, Trey Murphy III and Naji Marshall had 15 each, Jonas Valanciunas had 13 and Jaxson Hayes added 11 for the Pelicans, who played without Brandon Ingram (sprained ankle). New Orleans committed 22 turnovers.
The Thunder took their biggest lead of the game when Gilgeous-Alexander’s two free throws gave them a 78-58 advantage midway through the third quarter.
Murphy, McCollum and Dyson Daniels each made a 3-pointer and the Pelicans got within 87-72 at the end of the third quarter.
New Orleans trimmed the deficit to nine points twice in the fourth quarter, but got no closer.
Gilgeous-Alexander led the way as the Thunder created some breathing room late in the first quarter. He scored 10 straight OKC points during a 13-5 run and finished the quarter with 14 points as the Thunder took a 32-22 lead.
Marshall made a 3-pointer and Hayes added a three-point play to start the second quarter scoring and pull New Orleans within four points.
Williams converted a three-point play, Lindy Waters III made a 3-pointer and OKC increased the lead to 40-30.
The Pelicans got within eight twice before Gilgeous-Alexander scored seven points to help the Thunder expand the lead to 57-36.
New Orleans got within 15, but Gilgeous-Alexander made two free throws and Williams beat the buzzer with a basket that gave OKC a 63-44 halftime lead.
–Field Level Media
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