OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 31 points and rookie Aaron Wiggins added a career-high 24 as Oklahoma City beat New Orleans 117-112 Sunday night, snapping the Pelicans' four-game win streak.
Wiggins, who had never scored in double figures this season, eclipsed his previous season best by halftime when he led the Thunder with 11 points.
Josh Hart had 29 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pelicans. Garret Temple came off the bench to score 22 points, including 15 in the first half.
Oklahoma City grabbed a 17-3 lead just four minutes into the first quarter, scoring 15 straight points after Josh Hart gave the Pelicans their only advantage of the first three periods with an opening-minute 3-pointer. Oklahoma City held a 14-point edge, 32-18, at the end of the first quarter.
The Thunder expanded the lead to 17 early in the second period before cooling off. The Pelicans cut their deficit to 57-49 at intermission. New Orleans scored eight straight early in the third to make it 60-58 before the Thunder countered with a 10-2 run over the next two minutes and went on to lead 89-81 heading into the fourth.
New Orleans outscored the Thunder 11-2 to start the fourth quarter and took a 92-91 lead with 8:10 left on a dunk by Willy Hernangomez. Kenrich Williams hit a 3-pointer at the other end as the Thunder regained the lead and held on the rest of the way.
Thunder: Rooke Tre Mann went through pregame warmups, but was placed in the health and safety protocol midway through the first quarter. ... Dort wasted no time extending his streak of consecutive games with a made 3-pointer to 44, hitting his first attempt two minutes into the opening period. His current mark is second in the league to Steph Curry. He missed his next six 3-point attempts and finished 1 of 7.
Pelicans: Center Jonas Valanciunas missed his second straight game with a non-COVID illness. ... Ingram left the game after the first quarter with Achilles soreness. He was scoreless in nine minutes, missing all three of his shots. Temple replaced him in the lineup to start the second half. ... Pelicans had started the four-game win streak in OKC on Devonte Graham's 61-foot basket at the final buzzer.
Pelicans: Host Cleveland on Tuesday.
Thunder: Visit Sacramento on Tuesday.
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Tony Sellars, The Associated Press