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Apr 25, 2024 12:28 am

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder rout Pelicans in Game 2

Thunder, Pelicans

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points and Chet Holmgren added 26 as the host Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New Orleans Pelicans 124-92 on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Oklahoma City owns its first 2-0 edge in a playoff series since the 2013 first round. Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is set for Saturday in New Orleans.

Gilgeous-Alexander, who shot 13 of 19 from the floor, produced his best-ever scoring total in a postseason game. Holmgren hit 9 of 13 as the Thunder shot 59 percent from the field, including 14-of-29 success (48.3 percent) from beyond the arc.

Jonas Valanciunas scored the Pelicans’ first 11 points and finished with a team-high 19 after finishing with 13 points in the Pelicans’ 94-92 Game 1 loss. His rebound total dropped from 20 in the opener to a team-high seven on Wednesday.

New Orleans’ Herbert Jones and Brandon Ingram added 18 points apiece.

The Pelicans led by two after Jones hit a 3-pointer just more than four minutes into the game for the team’s first non-Valanciunas points.

Oklahoma City then ripped off a 21-6 run to seize control for what proved to be the rest of the game. After the Thunder took a 13-point lead late in the first quarter, New Orleans never pulled closer than eight in the second quarter and never was closer than 12 in the second half.

Outside of Valanciunas, who went 5 of 7 from the floor, New Orleans was just 3 of 14 from the field in the first quarter.

While Valanciunas made a big impact on the inside early, so did his Thunder counterpart, Holmgren.

The Oklahoma City rookie hit three 3-pointers in the first six minutes, including one that put Oklahoma City ahead for good just after Jones’ trey.

Much of the Thunder’s early offensive production came thanks to strong defense, as Oklahoma City scored eight first-quarter points off five Pelicans’ turnovers while not committing a turnover in the period.

The Thunder finished with 22 points off New Orleans’ 18 turnovers while the Pelicans scored just six points off Oklahoma City’s nine giveaways.

Jalen Williams added 21 points, Luguentz Dort added 15 and Josh Giddey had 13 for the Thunder.

With the Thunder leading by 34 with 3:29 remaining, Thunder coach Mark Daigneault took out his starters to a large ovation.

–Field Level Media

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