In Game 1, top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder narrowly defeat the New Orleans Pelicans 94-92

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New Orleans Pelicans vs Oklahoma City Thunder (Credits:

After the NBA named Shai Gilgeous-Alexander a finalist for the Most Valuable Player award, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s star guard proved his worth.

He scored 28 points, securing the winning basket in the final moments, as the top-seeded Thunder narrowly defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 94-92 in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series on Sunday night.

CJ McCollum of New Orleans missed a crucial 3-pointer in the closing seconds, allowing the Thunder to clinch their first home playoff victory since 2019.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault praised his team’s resilience, saying, “I thought we showed great grit down the stretch.” Despite a tight and scrappy game, the Thunder made key defensive plays to secure the win.

Jalen Williams contributed 19 points, while Chet Holmgren impressed with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocks. Game 2 will be hosted by the Thunder on Wednesday night.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Oklahoma City Thunder

For the Pelicans, Trey Murphy III scored 21 points, McCollum added 20, and Jonas Valanciunas posted 13 points and 20 rebounds. However, their leading scorer, Zion Williamson, was sidelined due to a strained left hamstring.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s clutch play included a decisive jumper with 32.5 seconds remaining, followed by a successful free throw amidst chants of “M-V-P!” from the crowd.

McCollum’s basket narrowed the gap to 93-92, but Holmgren’s free throw extended the Thunder’s lead to 94-92. Despite a final attempt by McCollum, the Thunder’s defense, led by rookie Cason Wallace, held firm.

The energetic support from Oklahoma City fans, many clad in white Thunder T-shirts, fueled the team’s spirit, with Holmgren igniting the atmosphere with an opening 3-pointer.


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