Sports

NBA: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Thunder end Nuggets’ 9-game winning streak


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Thunder NBA

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder vs Christian Braun #0 of the Denver Nuggets in the third round at the Ball Arena on January 22, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 34 points, including taking the lead with 9.2 seconds remaining, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the short-handled Denver Nuggets 101-99 on Sunday night.

Josh Giddey had 18 points and nine rebounds, while Kenrich Williams scored 11 for Oklahoma City, ending the Nuggets’ nine-game and 16-game winning streak at home.

Jamal Murray scored 26 points and added 9 assists, Aaron Gordon had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Zeke Nnaji had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Denver. Bruce Brown added 14 points, Jeff Green got 12 and Christian Braun and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each got 10.

The Nuggets competed without two starters and head coach Michael Malone.

Two-time tournament MVP Nikola Jokic sidelined for the second straight game because of a left hamstring strain and Michael Porter Jr. absent for personal reasons. Malone missed the fourth game in a row while in the midst of tournament health and safety procedures. Assistant David Adelman continues to serve as acting head coach.

The Thunder took an 11-point lead in the first half, but Brown’s treble late in the second gave Denver a 52-47 lead at the break.

Gilgeous-Alexander scored 12 points in the final 6:30 of the third to give Oklahoma City an 81-74 lead to enter the fourth inning.

The score was 94-89 after Brown made a save, but he missed a free throw, and Nnaji missed two throw-ins. Gilgeous-Alexander fires a shot and Nnaji takes a 3-point corner to shorten the score to 96-92 with 4:08 remaining.

After the teams exchanged empty assets, Gordon and Nnaji each missed two free throws, the Thunder missed twice on their next hold and Gordon’s goal rolled to keep the game going. Four points.

Giddey missed 21 feet, and Murray’s three-pointer cut the score to 96-95.

Williams responded with a 3 pointer, Gordon made a tackle with 1:08 left and Giddey missed a short jump. Nnaji was fouled on a counter-attack and made two free throws to tie 99 with 30.2 seconds left.

Gilgeous-Alexander hit the bank with 9.2 seconds to put the Thunder ahead again, and Murray missed 14 feet at the whistle.

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