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Mar 26, 2024 10:48 pm

Closing 12-0 run carries Thunder past Pelicans

pelicans, thunder

Jalen Williams scored 26 points and the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder used a balanced scoring effort to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 119-112 on Tuesday night.

The Thunder scored the game’s final 12 points over the last three minutes to escape with a victory.

Josh Giddey added a season-high 25, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 and Chet Holmgren had 16 for the Thunder (50-21), who won for the fifth time in six games.

Zion Williamson had 29 points and 10 assists, CJ McCollum scored 23 and Trey Murphy III and Herbert Jones scored 16 each for the Pelicans (44-28). New Orleans overcame a 20-point, third-quarter deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter before going scoreless for the final 3:10.

Giddey made four consecutive field-goal attempts and Gilgeous-Alexander added four straight New Orleans points early in the third quarter as the Thunder opened an 88-68 lead.

Williamson scored six points during a 14-0 run that pulled the Pelicans within 90-88. Gilgeous-Alexander, Williams and Holmgren each had a basket to help Oklahoma City take a 96-90 lead at the end of the third quarter.

An assist and three made free throws by McCollum helped New Orleans pull even at 99 before Giddey broke the tie with a 3-pointer. The lead changed hands twice before Murphy’s 3-pointer and McCollum’s field goal gave the Pelicans a 112-107 lead.

Williams’ basket and 3-pointers by Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort gave the Thunder a 115-112 lead with 1:02 remaining. After a New Orleans miss, Williams’ layup pushed the lead to five with 27.9 seconds left.

Giddey scored 10 points as the Thunder built a seven-point lead midway through the first quarter.

Murphy made two 3-pointers and Williamson had two field goals to help the Pelicans open a 29-25 lead. The hosts increased the lead to five points before holding a 34-33 lead the end of the first quarter.

Gilgeous-Alexander made two field goals as Oklahoma City started the second-quarter with a 6-0 run to take a five-point lead. New Orleans closed within two points three times before the Thunder scored eight straight for a 54-44 lead.

Williams made two 3-pointers and the Thunder matched their biggest margin of the half with a 73-58 halftime lead.

–Field Level Media

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