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Gilgeous-Alexander leads Thunder past Pelicans in play-in

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) blocks the shot of New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball play-in tournament game in New Orleans, Wednesday, April 12 (Thursday, April 13, in Manila). AP PHOTO

NEW ORLEANS: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander highlighted his 32-point night with a go-ahead baseline jumper and four clutch free throws in the final 29 seconds, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-118 on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) to remain alive in the Western Conference play-in tournament.

Josh Giddey had 31 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for Oklahoma City, the only Western Conference team still playing with a losing record.

The loss eliminated the ninth-seeded Pelicans while 10th seed Oklahoma City advanced to play at Minnesota on Friday night for the right to enter the NBA playoffs as an eighth seed.

Brandon Ingram scored 20 of his 30 points in the second half, including a 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left to give the Pelicans a slim chance to come back.

But after Gilgeous-Alexander hit two free throws, Herbert Jones threw away an inbound pass, virtually sealing New Orleans' fate.

Lu Dort scored 27 for the Thunder, including a pair of free throws with 6.2 seconds left.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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