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Thunder post their highest point total of the season in 147-106 win over Wizards

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Washington Wizards 147-106 on Friday night.

Chet Holmgren added 25 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which shot 59.8% from the field and 50% from 3-point-range (20 of 40).

The Thunder had their highest point total of the season, eclipsing their 140 points in a win over San Antonio on Jan. 24.

“We knew the game plan, we executed it well and we really trusted each other,” Holmgren said. “That’s how we got those open looks, and credit to everybody who got ‘em and knocked ’em down.”

With the win, the Thunder closed to within a half-game of Minnesota for the lead in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves face the Milwaukee Bucks later Friday.

Oklahoma City led 80-57 at halftime and 117-81 after three quarters on a night the organization recognized 10 former players as part of Thunder Legacy Weekend.

“I think we’ve gotten good (looks) the last couple of nights,” said Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault, whose team made 17 3’s in a 129-106 win over the Clippers on Thursday. “And that’s what we can control. We just want to be a team that generates rhythm shots and open shots. I thought we did that tonight, we did that last night, we’ve done that for much of the year. We’ve gotten more open 3’s than most teams in the league, and if we do that we trust that we’re going to make enough of them ... .”

Jordan Poole scored 21 points off the bench and Corey Kispert added 20 points for Washington (9-47) which has lost 10 straight games.

“We had built some momentum going into the (All-Star) break,” said Washington coach Brian Keef, a former Thunder assistant. “I think we had two tough games versus two tough teams. We really didn’t finish the quarters well. The first three quarters they kind of made big runs in each quarter and that kind of extended the game. We have a long rest of the year and were going to get back to work and keep getting better.”

The Wizards dropped a 130-110 decision in Denver on Thursday night. Friday’s game was the second game of a back-to-back for both teams.

Oklahoma City scored 80 points in the first half and led by 23 points at the break. Gilgeous-Alexander (20) and Holmgren (19) combined for 39 points on 16-for-21 shooting. The Thunder shot 73.7% from the field and 71.4% from beyond the arc.

“He’s just refining on the offensive end of the floor,” Daigneault said of Holmgren. “He’s shooting his catch-and shoots with a lot of confidence right now, regardless of make or miss. He’s also getting his size into the game around the basket, especially against switches. That’s been an adjustment for him from a coverage standpoint.”

The lead ballooned to 39 points on a 3-pointer by Jaylin Williams early in the fourth quarter, when Daigneault, who turned 39 Friday, emptied his bench. A 3-pointer by Aaron Wiggins with 1:24 left — the team’s 20 from long range — made it 147-101.

A night after going scoreless in his Oklahoma City debut, Gordon Hayward finished with eight points on 3-of-7 shooting in 15 minutes.

Kenrich Williams added 12 points on four 3-pointers, including three in a row during a stretch of the first quarter as the Thunder extended a 26-23 lead to 35-25.

UP NEXT

Wizards: Host Cleveland on Sunday night.

Thunder: Visit Houston on Sunday night.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

Tim Willert, The Associated Press