Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 27 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 101-98 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
Two nights earlier, Gilgeous-Alexander had hit the whistle to give the Thunder a win over the Trail Blazers.
This time around, Gilgeous-Alexander’s late game hero ability arrives a little earlier.
Down by five with less than three minutes left, Gilgeous-Alexander made a dribble, then took the ball from Jerami Grant before seeing Josh Giddey open the scoring for a floating player.
The sequence started with an 8-0 scoreline to end the game, helping Oklahoma City get through the encounters between the two sides.
The Thunder won the two-game home series against the Trail Blazers, winning 101-98.
– OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 22, 2022
Portland missed the last four shots.
Damian Lillard created a chance for the Trail Blazers in the final seconds with a steal, but he didn’t find much of a chance to work, unleashing an 18-foot contention past Luguentz Dort, which was stretched and blocked. Giddey grabbed.
Gilgeous-Alexander shot a pair of free throws with less than a second remaining to seal the victory.
Thunder is 21 of 25 from the free throw line, with Gilgeous-Alexander making 11 of 13.
The Trail Blazers only finished 6/9, a low season in terms of both attempts and attempts. Portland was just one of two men leading in the second half.
Two nights after becoming the top scorer in franchise history, Lillard got off to a rough start.
Lillard missed his first six shots – four 3-pointers – before scoring the last on a pontoon midway through the second half.
Lillard scored nine points in the final six minutes of the first half and finished with 16 on a 6/19 shot.
Grant leads Portland with 17 points.
The Trail Blazers took a 12-point lead in the first quarter, thanks to three counterattacks – two by Drew Eubanks – that turned into seven. Oklahoma City didn’t win an offensive rebound until more than three minutes into the second half.
The Thunder have won three games in a row while Portland have lost three of their last four.
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