NBA: Jalen Williams winner lifts Thunder over Trail Blazers

NBA: Jalen Williams winner lifts Thunder over Trail Blazers

/ 12:51 PM January 24, 2024

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Jalen Williams Thunder vs Trail Blazers NBA

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) prepares to take the game-winning shot as Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons (1) and center Deandre Ayton, left, defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points and Jalen Williams added 19 points, including the game-winner with two seconds left, to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Portland Trail Blazers 111-109 on Tuesday night.

Gilgeous-Alexander intercepted a lob intended for Deandre Ayton right before the buzzer sounded to seal the win for Oklahoma City — its seventh-straight over Portland, which lost to the Thunder by 62 points the last time the two teams played.

Scoot Henderson scored 19 points and Anfernee Simons added 17 for Portland, including a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left in the game to give the Trail Blazers a 109-106 lead.


A Williams make pulled Oklahoma City to within 109-108 with 15.6 seconds remaining, but Portland turned it over on a double-dribble by guard Malcolm Brogdon. The call infuriated Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups, who picked up two technical fouls and was ejected.

Gilgeous-Alexander made one of two free throws to tie the score, then Williams connected on a mid-range jumper in traffic to win it for the Thunder. Oklahoma City (30-13) got 13 points off the bench from Aaron Wiggins and eight points and 10 rebounds from Chet Holmgren.

When the teams played Jan. 11, Oklahoma City shattered its previous record for margin of victory with a 139-77 win. The Thunder also won by 43 points in Portland on Nov. 19.

This time, Portland was playing with Ayton, a 7-footer, and Brogdon, who combined for 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Brogdon and Jerami Grant scored 18 points each for Portland (12-31), which has yet to beat a Western Conference team this season (0-16).

Two free throws by Gilgeous-Alexander put Oklahoma City up 38-25 with eight seconds left in the first quarter. The Trailblazers cut the lead to 38-28 on a 3-pointer by Jabari Walker that rolled in at the buzzer.


Portland went on a 14-4 run to pull within 42-39 on a 3 by Walker with 8:45 left in the second quarter, prompting Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault to take a timeout.

The Trail Blazers heated up from beyond the arc after that and outscored the Thunder 38-20 to lead 66-58 at halftime. Portland connected on 12 of 23 of its 3-point shots (52%) in the first half and 18 of 39 for the game.


Trail Blazers: Visit Houston on Wednesday.

Thunder: Visit San Antonio on Wednesday.

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TAGS: NBA, OKC Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

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