Oklahoma City Thunder overcome 4th quarter drought behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to defeat New Orleans Pelicans

Monday, 22 April 2024 at 06:21
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The Oklahoma City Thunder hosted the New Orleans Pelicans at Paycom Center in Game 1 and came out on top 94-92 in a thriller behind MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
SGA led OKC with 28 points on 46% shooting, including hitting 2 clutch field goals after a 6 minute drought in the 4th. Jalen Williams contributed 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals while Chet Holmgren had 15 points, 11 boards, and 5 blocks including a clutch swat in the final minutes of the game on Larry Nance Jr.
CJ McCollum recorded 20 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals for the Pelicans. Trey Murphy III led the team with 21 points and 5 threes. Jonas Valanciunas had a big game with 13 points and 20 rebounds while Brandon Ingram struggled with 12 points on 5/17 shooting.
Oklahoma City picks up a huge 1-0 series lead with this win and took care of business in this back and forth affair. Despite not having much playoff experience, the Thunder showed grit and toughness, and they’ll only improve from here. They’ll look to go up 2-0 on Wednesday.
New Orleans suffer a tough loss without Zion Williamson but they have showed that they can compete with OKC despite being the 8th seed. Jonas Valanciunas looks to be the X-factor with his size over this small Thunder squad as he dominated the glass. The Pelicans are top 10 in both offense and defense and despite losing tonight, they can still win this series, especially if their star player returns.