Hill's late free throws lift Thunder over Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 21 points, George Hill hit the go-ahead free throws with 12 seconds left, and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 111-110 on Wednesday night.
The Pelicans had the final possession of the game, and top scorers Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson both touched the ball. But it was second-year reserve guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker who took the last shot from 3-point range. It rimmed out with a couple of seconds remaining and neither team could control the rebound before the final horn sounded.
Darius Bazley had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which avenged a home loss to New Orleans last week while winning for just the second time in six games. Reserve forward Mike Muscala scored 18 points, hitting five 3-pointers, and Hill finished with 13.
Williamson scored 29 points and Ingram 24. Steven Adams had 10 points and 10 rebounds, scoring five points in the final 2:30. He put the Pelicans up 104-100 with a putback while he was fouled and later gave New Orleans a 106-103 lead with 1:35 left.
Gilgeous-Alexander tied it at 106 with a driving layup as he was fouled by Alexander-Walker. He later baited Lonzo Ball into a shooting foul behind the 3-point line and made all three free throws to put Oklahoma City up 109-108 in the final minute.
Williamson's short turnaround off the glass briefly put New Orleans in front one more time before Al Horford beat the Pelicans to a rebound of Gilgeous-Alexander's miss and the ball made its way to Hill, who was fouled by Ball to set up the decisive free throws.
Thunder: Made 19 3-pointers in 46 attempts (41.3%). ... Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with nine assists. ... Oklahoma City led by as many as 14 points in the game and by 10 in the fourth quarter before allowing New Orleans to take several late leads.
Pelicans: JJ Redick bruised his right knee and did not play in the second half. ... New Orleans missed 18 of 22 3-point attempts (18.2%) but shot 49.4% (44 of 89) overall. ... The Pelicans outscored the Thunder 58-36 in the paint and outrebounded Oklahoma City 52-38. ... Alexander-Walker finished with 13 points in 27 minutes. Ball scored 15 points and Eric Bledsoe 13.
Thunder: Visit the New York Knicks on Friday night.
Pelicans: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports