Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart (3) in the first half of the game on Sunday, December 26, 2021, in Oklahoma City.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points and rookie Aaron Wiggins added a career-high 24 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New Orleans Pelicans 117-112 on Sunday, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Wiggins, who had never scored in double digits, surpassed his previous mark in the first half, when he led the Thunder with 11 points.
Josh Hart finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pelicans. Garret Temple added 22 points, 15 of them in the first half, as a reserve.
Oklahoma City took a 17-3 lead just four minutes into the game, with 15 points in a row after Hart gave the Pelicans their only lead in the first three quarters with a 3-pointer in the opening minute. Oklahoma City finished the first quarter with a 14-point lead, 32-18.
The Thunder extended the margin to 17 early in the second quarter before cooling off. The Pelicans cut the deficit to 57-49 at halftime. New Orleans scored eight points in a row early in the third period to get closer to 60-58 before the Thunder responded with a 10-2 attack over the next two minutes and reached the fourth quarter leading 89-81.
New Orleans started the final quarter with an 11-2 attack to lead 92-91 with 8:10 left thanks to Willy Hernangomez’s dunk. Kenrich Williams responded with a triple and the Thunder regained the lead and preserved it for the remainder of the game.