West Notes: Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Clippers, Timberwolves


Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wasn’t feeling well, but still managed to score 34 points to help the Thunder get past the short-handed Nuggets on Wednesday.Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Gilgeous-Alexander was questionable before tipoff. Then he finished with his 14th game in January with at least 30 points.

“Dealing with a little bit of illness, but I (felt) good enough to play, obviously,” he told reporters. “I wasn’t sure when I got listed. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to go tonight before the game, before a couple naps, couple sleeps. I had enough in me to go.”

  • The Nuggets were without star center Nikola Jokic, who sat with lower back pain. That certainly helped OKC in winning the season series by a 3-1 count.


The Clippers got back on the winning track with an easy road victory over the Wizards on Wednesday. Los Angeles is now 3-1 on its seven-game trip.

Coach Tyronn Lue said he still would like to see his team fire it up from deep.

“I would like if we get more 3s up,” Lue told reporters. “Just how good of a shooting team that we are. Attacking the paint, making the right pass, getting open 3s. We turned down some tonight.”

The Clippers outscored the Wizards 40-19 in the third quarter after leading by 10 points at halftime.

“It was huge, in that third quarter, just coming out with a defensive mindset,” Lue said. “For our guys to lock in and give up 25 and 19 (points) in the second and third, I thought it was huge for us. It allowed us to get the lead and it was kind of over after that.”

  • The Clippers were paying visit to former assistant GM Michal Winger, now in his first year as the head of basketball operations with the Wizards. Winger, clearly, has his work cut out in Washington.


The Timberwolves made easy work of a Mavericks team missing injured guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving on Wednesday, with point guard Mike Conley again showing he’s the ideal floor general for this team on the rise.

“It looked like a very typical Mike Conley game,” coach Chris Finch said. “He did a great job of running the show, communicating with all the guys, keeping us well organized and then hitting big shots.”

  • Minnesota pulled back into first place in the Western Conference with the victory and now leads the Thunder by one game entering Thursday night.

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