Gilgeous-Alexander scores 27 as Thunder top Portland again

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left, saves the ball from going out of...
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, left, saves the ball from going out of bounds next to Portland Trail Blazers guard Josh Hart in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)(Nate Billings | AP)
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 8:12 PM PST
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 27 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Portland Trail Blazers for the second time in three days, 101-98 on Wednesday night.

Gilgeous-Alexander had a good week against Portland — he hit a winning basket as time expired against the Trail Blazers on Monday, also in Oklahoma City, to highlight a 35-point performance.

It was the third straight win for Oklahoma City. The streak follows a five-game losing skid.

Jerami Grant scored 17 points for Portland. Damian Lillard, who entered the game averaging 28.3 points, finished with 16 points on 6-for-19 shooting for the Trail Blazers.

Lillard missed his first six shots and didn’t score until halfway through the second quarter. Still, the Trail Blazers led 54-49 at halftime despite Gilgeous-Alexander’s 18 points.

The Thunder led 99-98 in the closing seconds. Oklahoma City’s Josh Giddey rebounded his miss, but Lillard tied him up and forced a jump ball that Portland won. Lillard missed a difficult 18-foot fadeaway, and the Thunder rebounded with 0.9 seconds remaining. Gilgeous-Alexander made two free throws with 0.3 seconds left, and Portland couldn’t get a shot off on its final possession.


Trail Blazers: C Jusuf Nurkic returned after missing Monday’s game with right calf soreness. ... Lillard was issued a technical in the third quarter. He also was called for one on Monday against the Thunder. ... F Justice Winslow left the game with a leg injury in the third quarter.

Thunder: Giddey returned after missing two games due to illness. ... F/C Jeremiah Robinson-Earl sat out with a sprained right ankle. ... Oklahoma City improved to 9-7 at home this season. ... Jalen Williams scored 15 points and Lu Dort added 14 for the Thunder.


Trail Blazers: Visit the Denver Nuggets on Friday.

Thunder: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.