Gilgeous-Alexander hits game-winner as Thunder edge Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of an NBA basketball game...
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of an NBA basketball game agains the Houston Rockets Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)(Michael Wyke | AP)
Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 8:39 PM PST
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a baseline jumper as time expired, and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 123-121 on Monday to ruin Damian Lillard’s record-setting night.

Gilgeous-Alexander drove to his left and drained a 14-foot pullup over Justise Winslow. The shot capped a 35-point performance for Gilgeous-Alexander, an emerging star who entered the night third in the NBA in scoring.

Lillard made a reverse layup with 3.5 seconds remaining to tie it. He scored 28 points to surpass Clyde Drexler’s franchise career scoring record.

Drexler, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had 18,040 points for the Trail Blazers from 1983-95. Lillard entered the night needing 21 to move ahead of him.

Lillard tied Drexler’s mark on a 3-pointer from well beyond the line in the third quarter that put the Trail Blazers up 72-67, then broke the mark on a free throw with 1:33 left in the period. Moments later, the Thunder public address announcer informed the crowd of Lillard’s accomplishment, and the crowd gave him an ovation. Lillard sat and rested, focused on a game the Trail Blazers were trailing by three points at the time.

The score was tied at 94 heading into the fourth. Portland’s Anfernee Simons hit back-to-back contested 3s to give Portland a 115-110 lead with about four minutes remaining.

Oklahoma City recovered, and Gilgeous-Alexander made two free throws to put the Thunder ahead 120-119 with 16.6 seconds left. The game was within two points the rest of the way.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Former Thunder F Jerami Grant scored 26 points. ... Former Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is an assistant in Portland. ... Lillard was issued a technical foul in the second quarter for arguing a foul call against him. ... F Josh Hart also was called for a technical in the second quarter.

Thunder: Gilgeous-Alexander played after missing the previous game with a bruised lower back. ... G Josh Giddey and F Darius Bazley sat out with non-COVID-19 illnesses. ... Gilgeous-Alexander was the only Thunder player to score more than 13 points.

UP NEXT

The teams play again in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.