Murphy scores 23, Pelicans beat Thunder in OT without Zion
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Trey Murphy III scored 23 points and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame the absence of leading scorer Zion Williamson and a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-125 in overtime on Friday night.
Murphy and CJ McCollum each hit a 3-pointer in the first two minutes of overtime to stake the Pelicans to a four-point lead, and Oklahoma City never recovered.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 44 points to go with 10 rebounds and six assists to lead Oklahoma City, which had a three-game winning streak end.
The Thunder had a chance while trailing 128-125 when McCollum turned the ball over on an inbounds play with 8.7 seconds left, but they missed a pair of 2-point shots.
New Orleans’ Jaxson Hayes, who scored 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting, missed two free throws with 2.7 seconds left. On the second, the rebound caromed toward midcourt, where Gilgeous-Alexander corralled it. His 40-foot 3-point attempt banged off the rim as time expired.
Naji Marshall and McCollum each scored 17 points for the Pelicans, who have followed a four-game skid with wins on back-to-back nights. Williamson also sat out Thursday’s win over San Antonio due to health and safety protocols.
During the third quarter, Oklahoma City steadily cut what had been a 21-point second-quarter deficit and the Thunder tied the game at 80-80 on a 3-pointer by Tre Mann with 11:38 left in the game. That was part of a 12-3 run to open the fourth quarter, which put the Thunder ahead 89-83.
Oklahoma City led 105-96 after two free throws by Gilgeous-Alexander with 4:53 left, but didn’t have a field goal during the final 2:57 of regulation, allowing New Orleans to rally. Herbert Jones’ basket with 25.4 seconds left tied the game at 112-all. Mann missed on a driving layup attempt in the final seconds.
After going 2 of 15 from 3-point range in the first half, the Thunder finished 13 of 35 from behind the arc. New Orleans finished 13 of 37 from 3-point range.
New Orleans went 8 of 21 from 3-point range in the first half and led by as many as 21 points after trailing by six early. The Pelicans were up 64-46 at halftime.
Pelicans: In addition to Williamson’s absence, New Orleans also was without usual starter Larry Nance Jr., who missed a second straight game due to right Achilles soreness. … McCollum, a game-time decision to play due to right calf soreness, started and played 36 minutes. … Jones added 15 points.
Thunder: Gilgeous-Alexander, who entered the game leading the NBA in free-throw shooting at 93%, missed both ends of a two-shot opportunity in the second quarter. … Josh Giddey had 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists while Aleksej Pokusevski added 17 points. … The Thunder recalled Mann and Jaylin Williams from the Oklahoma City Blue of the G League.
Pelicans: Host Indiana on Monday.
Thunder: Host San Antonio on Tuesday.
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