Matisse Thybulle and Duop Reath have both out-scored fellow Australian Josh Giddey, but the Thunder guard had the last laugh as his team overcame the Trail Blazers 111-109 in the NBA.
Oklahoma City’s star man Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points and Jalen Williams added 19, including the game-winner with two seconds left.
Gilgeous-Alexander intercepted a lob intended for Deandre Ayton right before the buzzer sounded, sealing the Thunder’s seventh straight win over Portland.
Scoot Henderson scored 19 points, including a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left, to give the Trail Blazers a 109-106 lead.
A Williams make pulled Oklahoma City to 109-108 with 15.6 seconds remaining, but Portland turned it over on a double-dribble by guard Malcolm Brogdon.
Gilgeous-Alexander made one of two free throws to tie the score before Williams connected on a mid-range jumper in traffic to win it for the Thunder.
“Shooters shoot,” Williams said.
“That shot I work on a lot. Coach drew the play up for me to shoot it.
“My mind is a little more free just because it’s a tie game – worst case, you get to go to OT.
“But coach had faith in me to get to the spot I wanted to get (there) and make the shot.”
Giddey chipped in seven points for OKC, while fellow Boomers Thybulle (eight) and Reath (10) helped Portland take it to the wire.
In New Orleans, CJ McCollum hit nine 3-pointers and matched a career-high with 33 points as the Pelicans set a franchise record in a 153-124 victory over the Utah Jazz.
“It was just an incredible performance by the guys in that locker room, sharing the basketball, rebounding,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said.
“CJ ignited the whole group. He got us going early. It’s extremely gratifying to see the team buy into what we’re trying to accomplish.”
The Pelicans’ previous scoring high was 149 points in a victory over the Sacramento Kings in October 2018.
New York extended their winning streak to four games with a 108-103 win over near neighbours the Brooklyn Nets.
Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle each scored 30 points for the Knicks, who trailed by nine at the start the fourth quarter but outscored the Nets 10-3 over the final two minutes to seal the win.
Mikal Bridges hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 36 points for Brooklyn, who also blew a 10-point lead in the third quarter.
The unstoppable Nikola Jokic scored 31 points as part of his 13th triple-double of the season to help Denver send Indiana to a third straight loss, going down 114-109.
The All-Star forward also had 13 rebounds and 10 assists as the Nuggets won their third straight and beat the Pacers for the eighth consecutive time.
All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton again sat out with a strained left hamstring and has been ruled out of Indiana’s next two games.
Also on the bench was LeBron James, with left ankle pain, as his Los Angeles Lakers fell 127-116 against the Clippers.
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