Monday, February 26, 2024
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Thunder ease past Hawks 126-117

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander helped the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Atlanta Hawks 126-117 by scoring 30 points on Monday night.

The Thunder’s leading scorer sat out Friday against the Golden State Warriors with a sprained left knee. He bounced back quickly, making 11 of 20 shots and getting eight rebounds and six assists.

Jalen Williams scored 21 points, Lu Dort added 19 and Chet Holmgren had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who were coming off losses of four points to New Orleans and two points to the Warriors.

Dejounte Murray scored 29 points for the Hawks, and Trae Young added 22 points and 11 assists not far from the campus where he starred for Oklahoma for a season.

In the second quarter, the 7-foot-1 Holmgren grabbed a rebound for Oklahoma City, then brought the ball up the court on the fast break. He found rookie Cason Wallace with a behind-the-back pass for a layup that put the Thunder ahead 36-30.

Dort was fouled by Young on a desperation 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds left in the first half. Dort made all three free throws for a 58-50 halftime lead for Oklahoma City. He led the Thunder with 13 points before the break.

In the third, a block by Holmgren started a fast break. Giddey drove and found Gilgeous-Alexander in the corner for a 3-pointer that put the Thunder up 73-62 and led to a Hawks timeout.

Oklahoma City’s Isaiah Joe made three 3-pointers in a 50-second span to give his team an 88-73 lead, and the Thunder took a 96-77 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Atlanta was down seven in the final two minutes when Dort blocked a 3-pointer by Young, leading to Gilgeous-Alexander’s alley-oop lob to Williams for a dunk and a 118-109 lead.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) passes the ball around Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (right) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday in Oklahoma City. PHOTO: AP