Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads Thunder rout of Harden, Nets
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander totaled 33 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder took control in the first quarter and snapped a five-game losing streak with a 130-109 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night in New York.
Gilgeous-Alexander made 11 of 18 shots and notched his second straight game with at least 30 points as the Thunder led for the final 43:45. On the second anniversary of his first career triple-double, Gilgeous-Alexander left with 1:41 remaining and the Thunder holding a 22-point lead.
Luguentz Dort added 27 and hit six of Oklahoma City’s season-best 20 3-pointers. Rookie Josh Giddey added 19 as the Thunder shot a season-best 51.6 percent.
Darius Bazley contributed 16 and Mike Muscala chipped in 14 as Oklahoma City won its fourth straight game in Brooklyn on a night when it set season highs for points, first-quarter points (38) and first-half points (70).
— NBA (@NBA) January 14, 2022
Playing a fourth game in five nights and in a third different time zone, the Nets lost for the sixth time in seven home games, dropping to 11-11 in Brooklyn as Kevin Durant and Patty Mills were rested.
James Harden paced the Nets with 26 points, nine assists and seven rebounds but also shot 7 of 22 as Brooklyn shot 41.8 percent. Rookie Cam Thomas added 21 and undrafted first-year player David Duke Jr. chipped in 13.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored 16 straight Oklahoma City points in a span of 3:46 as the Thunder ended their most productive first quarter of the season with a 38-26 lead. The Nets got within 47-39 with about 6 1/2 minutes left, but the Thunder outscored them 23-12 for a 70-51 lead by halftime.
Gilgeous-Alexander’s dunk upped the lead to 79-57 with 9:25 remaining and the Nets answered with an 18-6 spurt, getting within 85-75 on a 3-pointer by Duke with 5:25 left. Gilgeous-Alexander then converted a putback reverse layup and two free throws in the final minute as Oklahoma City held a 100-83 lead into the fourth.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Harden cut Brooklyn’s deficit to 102-89 with 10:29 left, and a layup by Thomas sliced the lead to 104-96 a little over two minutes later. Gilgeous-Alexander returned with 6:24 left and finished it off by hitting a 3-pointer and a layup on consecutive possessions for a 120-100 lead with 5:04 to go.