EditorsNote: minor edits throughout
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points, hitting the game-winning shot with 1.4 seconds remaining, to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-107 win at the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night.
Oklahoma City led 102-89 with two minutes remaining before Charlotte turned up the pressure defensively and narrowed the margin with a series of 3-pointers.
Oklahoma City turned the ball over three times in the final two minutes, and Gilgeous-Alexander’s two missed free throws in the final 35 seconds helped keep the Hornets within striking distance.
Gilgeous-Alexander was back on the line with 15.7 seconds left after the Hornets had trimmed the lead to one. He hit both of the free throws, but Miles Bridges nailed a 3-pointer moments later to tie the game after Oklahoma City had led since early in the third quarter.
Bridges hit three 3-pointers in the final 24.9 seconds and scored all of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.
After a timeout, Gilgeous-Alexander nailed a step-back jumper from just inside the 3-point line to put the Thunder back ahead.
Terry Rozier’s 3-pointer at the buzzer went long to end the game.
George Hill added 21 points, making 8 of 9 attempts from the floor, for the Thunder. Luguentz Dort and Darius Bazley scored 15 each, with Bazley adding 10 rebounds.
Rozier led the Hornets with 19 points, while P.J. Washington added 18.
After being held scoreless in his NBA debut, LaMelo Ball, the third overall pick in last month’s draft, made 5 of 10 attempts from the floor, finishing with 13 points and six rebounds.
The Thunder, in their season opener, grabbed control in the third quarter, holding Charlotte to just 16 points.
The Hornets were just 6 of 30 from the floor in the quarter. While Washington and Caleb Martin each hit three shots in the third, the rest of the Charlotte roster went 0 for 20 from the floor.
Oklahoma City ripped off an 11-0 run beginning just after halftime to grab the lead for what looked to be for good until Bridges’ late heroics.
–Field Level Media