The Oklahoma City Thunder left the court in a state of shock on Wednesday night, and the Paycom Center crowd exited in silence.
Just seconds after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game, New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte’ Graham answered by sinking a 61-foot, desperation heave at the buzzer to hand the Thunder its third straight loss of the home stand, 113-110.
Graham received the inbounds pass below the basket and dribbled to the top corner of OKC’s 3-point line before launching. The shot banked off the glass, fell, and the Pelicans’ bench followed by rushing the floor.
The shot capped a back-and-forth affair where the teams exchanged leads 15 times. They continued to counter down the stretch, trading blows after a 102-102 tie with just under three minutes remaining.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored the final eight points for OKC, including two 3-pointers and a pair of free throws. He finished with a team-high 33 points to go with five assists over 37 minutes.
The Thunder (8-19) surrendered 68 points in the second half after allowing just 45 over the first 24 minutes. The Pelicans scored 38 in the fourth quarter to secure their ninth win.
OKC was short-handed, playing without defensive star Luguentz Dort, who sat to nurse a day-to-day ankle injury. Rookie Josh Giddey stepped up offensively, scoring 17 points with nine rebounds and seven assists. Kenrich Williams scored 17 and Mike Muscala scored 16, each helping to lighten the load off the bench.
Brandon Ingram was the star for New Orleans (9-21), scoring a game-high 34 points with eight boards and four assists. Jonas Valanciunas, who usually gives the Thunder fits, rolled to a double-double with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Graham added 15 points, including the game-winner.
The Thunder takes a two-day break before closing the home stand out against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. L.A. won the first matchup, 99-94 on Nov. 1.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.