West Notes: Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Pelicans, Kings


The Thunder got their first home win in the NBA playoffs since 2019, and it came by the hair of their chinny chin chin.Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

No less than Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 28 points and the go-ahead hoop in the final minute. Then, the Thunder survived a missed 3-pointer from CJ McCollum at the final buzzer.

“I thought we showed great grit down the stretch,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault told reporters. “Obviously, that was a tight game. It was a bit of a brawl for both teams offensively. And we made plays defensively down the stretch — big-time plays — and had the resolve to go in and win the game.”

  • While this is a No. 1 (Thunder) vs. No. 8 matchup, one Western Conference GM told Hoops Wire he wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see the series go seven games. “I think OKC will advance, but I think it’ll be a real battle,” he said.


  • It’s unclear when or if star forward Zion Williamson will return from a hamstring injury suffered in an NBA play-in loss to the Lakers. He very well could miss the entire series. If he does return, it likely wouldn’t be until late in the series (if it goes that far), reports suggest.
  • McCollum said he liked the look he got on the game’s final shot. “I should have attacked a little earlier, a little faster,” he said. “But credit, it was good defense. … I thought it was cash and I missed it long.”
  • Coach Willie Green added that there were some plusses. “We had quality shots coming down the stretch that we just didn’t make, and it came down to the final play,” he said. “Our guys fought all night. Defense was solid. Game plan was executed at a high level. We’ve got to knock down some shots.”


  • Guard Malik Monk is heading into free agency and he indicated he doesn’t know what the future holds. “The city loves me and I love them,” he said, via NBA insider James Ham of The Kings Beat.
  • Monk suggested that he understands he could make more money with another team, but his fit in Sacramento is also likely to be a consideration, via Sean Cunningham of KTXL. “I think it’s going to play out the right way,” Monk said.
  • Forward Harrison Barnes on Monk, via Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee: “I think he knows he has home here and we all want him back.”

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