NBA: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s buzzer-beater lifts Thunder, breaking Damian Lillard’s record for the night
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander limited the effort to 35 points by knocking out a 14-foot high jumper at the whistle to give the Oklahoma City Thunder a 123-121 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday.
The results spoiled the night for Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, who became the franchise’s all-time top scorer in the third quarter.
It was Gilgeous-Alexander’s second final shot this season. He also did the feat on November 16 in Washington.
Gilgeous-Alexander caught the pass with three seconds left, spun to the right and then overtook Justise Winslow, tossing a buoy that fell over the net as the whistle blew to give the Thunder a second straight win.
Gunshots resound around the world pic.twitter.com/GGRv5IvTZj
– OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 20, 2022
Just moments before that, it appeared Lillard had sent the game into extra time with a reversal to tie the game at 121-121.
Instead, Gilgeous-Alexander completed it as prescribed.
Gilgeous-Alexander struggled on the field for most of the game but was 4/7 in the fourth half. He helped Oklahoma City continue the game by taking all of his 14 free-throw opportunities, including four in the fourth inning.
Lillard went into the game needing 21 points to overtake Clyde Drexler as the top scorer in Portland history. He drew Drexler early in the third inning, took a 3-point arc lead and hit the attrition shot to extend the Trail Blazers’ lead to five.
WHEN ️#RipCity | @Dame_Lillard pic.twitter.com/1Nit9qfkmV
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 20, 2022
Lillard missed the next three shots but eventually took the record at the free-throw line at the end of the half.
During the brief wait after scoring, Lillard received handshakes and hugs from his teammates and coaches as the achievement was recognized in the arena, drawing a standing ovation. list from the audience to visit. Lillard was soon greeted by a 4-year-old son, Damian Lillard Jr.
Three turns in 2:08 eventually helped sink Portland, with Luguentz Dort’s steal leading to a Gilgeous-Alexander pullback, giving Oklahoma City a 116-115 lead with 1:59 remaining.
Then, when the Trail Blazers took the lead with 19 seconds left, Anfernee Simons stretched and made a pass inside the box to teammate Lillard, leading to a pair of free throws from Gilgeous-Alexander.
Next, Jalen Williams stole the ball from Lillard, then made one of two free throws with 6.1 seconds left to set the final streak.
Lillard finished with 28 points while Jerami Grant added 26 points in the loss.
No Thunder player other than Gilgeous-Alexander has scored more than 13 points, but six other Oklahoma City players have scored double that.
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