June 15, 2024

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s All-Star power leads Thunder’s win against Pelicans

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ALL-STAR POWER. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander showcases his All-Star prowess as the Oklahoma City Thunder thrash the New Orleans Pelicans, 107-83, on Friday night (Saturday, January 27, in the Philippines). OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER PHOTO

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander showcased his All-Star prowess by leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a dominant 107-83 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night (Saturday, January 27, in the Philippines).
The win improved the Thunder’s NBA-leading road record to an impressive 15-8, marking their fourth consecutive road victory.
Gilgeous-Alexander, who was recently voted as a Western Conference All-Star starter, continued his stellar play with a 31-point performance.
His consistency throughout the season has been a key factor in the Thunder’s success. Coach Mark Daigneault highlighted Gilgeous-Alexander’s ability to impact the team positively, creating space for teammates to elevate their game.
Gilgeous-Alexander expressed that it’s an honor and a blessing to have been voted by his peers for his All-Star selection. It’s a really good feeling, he said.
Chet Holmgren contributed significantly to the Thunder’s victory, posting a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds. The dynamic duo of Gilgeous-Alexander and Holmgren showcased the team’s depth and versatility.
The Pelicans, missing the services of Zion Williamson due to a bone bruise in his left foot, struggled offensively.
Three days after setting a franchise record for points with 153 in a victory over Utah, the Pelicans shot just 39%, making only 9 of 36 attempted three-pointers.
Oklahoma City’s defensive efforts were commendable, holding the Pelicans to a season-low 83 points.
Coach Daigneault praised his team’s defensive consistency, noting that they were able to sustain a high defensive level throughout the game.
The Thunder capitalized on 16 New Orleans turnovers and shot efficiently from the free-throw line, going 13 of 14.
Despite a slow start and poor shooting from beyond the arc, the Thunder demonstrated maturity by maintaining intelligent offense and high-level intensity on defense.
Coach Daigneault emphasized the importance of sustaining performance, irrespective of the shooting percentages, as a sign of a mature team.
Pelicans coach Willie Green expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance, especially their inability to take care of the basketball.
The Pelicans struggled with turnovers, and the Thunder capitalized on their defensive strengths to secure the victory.
Green said some were unforced turnovers, citing Thunder for doing well in being active and getting turnovers.
The absence of Zion Williamson was felt, and his status for the upcoming game against the Milwaukee Bucks remained uncertain.

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