Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scores 31 points, Thunder beat Clippers 129-107

Thu, Feb 22, 2024
NBA News (AP)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scores 31 points, Thunder beat Clippers 129-107

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers 129-107 on Thursday night in a matchup of Western Conference contenders.

Lu Dort added 19 points, Jalen Williams had 18 and Chet Holmgren 17 for Oklahoma City. The Thunder won the season series with Los Angeles and improved to 38-17 to move within a game of Western Conference-leading Minnesota.

Gordon Hayward played 14 minutes in his first game with the Thunder since being acquired in a trade with Charlotte. He missed both of his shots and had four rebounds.

Kawhi Leonard scored 20 points and Nolan Powell added 19 points for Los Angeles. The third-place Clippers fell to 36-18.

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Both teams were playing for the first time since the All-Star break. The game featured the return to Oklahoma City of former Thunders players Paul George, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Gilgeous-Alexander, the NBA's second-leading scorer, had 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting to help the Thunder take a 61-59 lead at halftime. Powell had 14 off the bench to keep the Clippers close.

Oklahoma City took control early in the second half behind nine points from Isaiah Joe, who started the third quarter in place of Josh Giddey. Joe's third dunk of the quarter put the Thunder up 81-74 with 5:59 left.

Giddey 3-pointer gave the Thunder a 91-79 advantage and the lead grew to 96-79 on a jumper by Gilgeous-Alexander with 35.2 seconds left in the quarter.

The Clippers cut it to 111-99 on Powell's jumper with 6:08 left in the fourth quarter, but Oklahoma City outscored Los Angeles 18-8 the rest of the way.

UP NEXT

Clippers: At Memphis on Friday night.

Thunder: Host Washington on Friday night.

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