Shai Gileous-Alexander has done it again.
The OKC Thunder superstar nailed a mid-range buzzer-beating game-winner to see his team sink the Portland Trail Blazers 123-121 at home on Tuesday (all times AEDT).
With the scores tied at 121-121 with 3.2 remaining, Gilgeous-Alexander caught the ball on the wing, span away from Justice Winslow and buried the 14-foot shot as time expired
Watch an average of 9 LIVE NBA Regular Season games per week on ESPN on Kayo Sports on ESPN on Kayo Sports. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
It sent Thunder fans at Chesapeake Arena into pandemonium as Gilgeous-Alexander was mobbed by teammates in celebration.
He finished with a game-high 34 points on 14-of-14 shooting from the free throw line plus six assists and two blocks.
The shot caused the NBA world to erupt including the perfect response from teammate Josh Giddey, who missed the contest with illness.
“That’s a shot I work on pre-game and work on in the gym. I like that spot and that shot and it felt good,” Gilgeous-Alexander said post-match.
“The shots hadn’t been going in all night, but all you can do is control what you can control.”
It’s perhaps all the more impressive considering Gilgeous-Alexander was touch and go to play in Tuesday’s contest due to a back issue.
It continues his blistering form in the first quarter of this season including hitting a game winner against Washington last month. He’s averaged 31.2 points per game on 50% shooting from the field and 93% from the line, 4.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.7 steals and one block.
Elsewhere in this one, six more Thunder players scored in double figures including Jalen Williams (13 points, seven rebounds), while Damian Lillard poured in 28 for Portland.
In a contest with several lead changes, Lillard hit a reverse layup with 3.5 seconds remaining on the previous play to the scores on a night when he overtook Clyde Drexler as the Blazers’ all-time leading scorer.
But Gilgeous-Alexander had the last laugh to improve the Thunder’s record to 123-121, while Portland fell to 17-14.
INGLES RETURNS IN BUCKS WIN OVER DANIELS’ PELS
Joe Ingles returned from an ACL injury to make his Milwaukee Bucks debut in a 128-119 win over the New Orleans Pelicans to extend their NBA-best record to 22-8.
It was far from Ingles’ best showing, going scoreless on 0-of-4 shooting – all from three-point range – with two assists in 15 minutes off the bench.
He did however connect on a nice lob with Giannis Antetokounmpo early in a glimpse of an exciting partnership ahead.
But as the 35-year old, who became the oldest ever Aussie play in the NBA, per NBLfacts, admitted at half-time, he was just happy to be back playing again and getting back up speed on the hardwood.
Joe Ingles returns to NBA action | 00:31
“It was honestly just nice to be out there and get a couple of reps in,” he told Bally Sports.
“I’m going a little quick right now, just trying to get in that flow. But it’s just nice to be out there with the guys and finally see what I hoped for when I signed.”
And in a wholesome moment, Ingles guarded fellow Aussie Dyson Daniels, who’s some 16 years younger, when he first checked into the contest.
Ingles’ last NBA game was in January while playing for the Utah Jazz, where he tore his ACL.
He was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in February, but never played for the team due to his injury before signing a one-year $6.5 million deal with the Bucks in the off-season.
Antetokounmpo was the hero for Milwaukee with 42 points and 10 rebounds, Brook Lopez tallied 30 points, four triples and seven boards and Jrue Holiday added 18 points and 11 assists.
The Bucks, who were without Khris Middleton for a second-straight game due to knee soreness, survived a late scare in this one.
Milwaukee led by as many as 18 in the fourth quarter. New Orleans cut the deficit to three on McCollum’s basket with 1:32 remaining, but former Pelican Holiday answered with a three-pointer and Lopez drove for a layup as Milwaukee pulled away again.
“Overall there was a lot of really good defensive effort,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, noting that the plan was to disrupt the “very unique and special” Williamson and “hopefully just change the dynamics of their team a little bit.
For New Orleans, Jonas Valanciunas exploded with 37 points, seven threes, 18 rebounds and five assists and C McCollum poured in 31 points with eight boards and nine dimes.
Daniels contributed just three points in 12 minutes as the Pelicans suffered a fourth-straight defeat to fall to 18-12.
The Philadelphia 76ers squandered a 14-point lead early in the third quarter but held on to eke out a 104-101 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Joel Embiid scored 28 points and pulled down 11 rebounds and Tobias Harris added 21 points as the Sixers weathered the Raptors’ late surge.
Pascal Siakam scored 23 of his 38 points in the second half as Toronto battled back. They twice led by seven in the fourth quarter, and Siakam’s finger-roll layup with 5.1 seconds left in the fourth knotted the score at 99-99.
Embiid couldn’t convert a game-winner as time expired in the fourth, but Harris drilled a three-pointer in overtime that put the Sixers up for good on their way to a fifth straight win.
27 REBOUNDS?! Jokic’s insane night | 00:41
In Atlanta, the Hawks survived a late push from the Orlando Magic with Dejounte Murray delivering the game-winning free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining in a 126-125 victory.
Trae Young scored 37 points and handed out 13 assists, AJ Griffin added 19 points off the bench and Murray scored 17 as the Hawks ended the Magic’s six-game winning streak.
Atlanta outscored Orlando 62-48 in the paint and led 124-112 with 3:05 to play. Orlando put together an 11-0 scoring run and took a one-point lead with 3.8 seconds remaining, but Murray came through at the foul line.
In Cleveland, Donovan Mitchell scored 23 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 122-99 victory over Utah in his first game against his former team since the Jazz traded him in the off-season.
Lakers withstand Wizards in thriller | 01:04
Cedi Osman scored 22 points off the bench and Jarrett Allen added 20 as seven Cleveland players scored in double figures on the way to their fourth straight win.
The Cavs, who improved to 15-2 at home and 21-11 overall, also impressed on defence, holding the Jazz to a season-low 39.1 per cent shooting.
Lauri Markkanen, who arrived in Utah in the Cavs’ blockbuster trade for Mitchell, scored 24 points, 22 of them coming in the first half as both teams rested most of their starters in the fourth quarter after the Cavs put the game out of reach.
In Minneapolis, the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the disjointed Dallas Mavericks 116-106, with frustrated Mavs star Luka Doncic and coach Jason Kidd both ejected in the third quarter after arguing over calls.
JAZZ 99 CAVALIERS 122
RAPTORS 101 76ERS 104
MAGIC 125 HAWKS 126
SPURS 125 ROCKETS 105
MAVERICKS 106 TIMBERWOLVES 116
BUCKS 128 PELICANS 119
TRAIL BLAZERS 121 THUNDER 123
LAKERS 104 SUNS 130
HORNETS – KINGS
The Denver Nuggets came out in the organization’s first NBA Finals and continued its dominant home streak in the NBA Playoffs. Denver defeated the Miami Heat
The Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat are underway in the 2023 NBA Finals, but there’s league buzz about more than just the championship clash. In honor of the
Ken Jeong loves to make people laugh, but perhaps not the way Denver Nuggets fans did toward him on Thursday night during Game 1 of the NBA Finals. "The Hangov