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


All-Star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 23 points and said he was pleased with the way the Thunder pulled away from the Raptors on Friday, in his lone trip of the season to his home country.Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

“We did enough to win,” Gilgeous-Alexander told reporters. “We weren’t the best version of ourselves tonight. We’re going to look in the mirror and try to figure out how we can do that more often.”

  • As for playing in Canada, Gilgeous-Alexander indicated it’s undoubtedly special. “It’s always fun,” he said. “I grew up coming to games here, watching Chris Bosh and a bunch of NBA legends play in this building. It’s always a surreal moment, and to have my friends and family in the crowd is even more special.”
  • Oklahoma City (49-20) has won four straight and entered Saturday as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference by a half-game.


The Lakers snapped a seven-game losing streak vs. the 76ers with a fairly uneven home win on Friday. Anthony Davis compiled 23 points and 19 rebounds, and LeBron James scored 20.

“Ugly, but we got the job done,” James told reporters. “We defended (well) in the second half. They only had 18 (points) in the fourth. That’s big-time when the offense was struggling like it was. … We turned the ball over way too much and gave up too easy baskets, but when we got in the half-court, we buckled down and made them take tough shots.”

  • In case you missed it, guard D’Angelo Russell set LA’s single-season record for 3-pointers in the win. “This franchise is one of the most prestigious, so to have my name be a part of it, more than grateful,” Russell said. Our Ashish Mathur has the full story here
  • Guard Spencer Dinwiddie added 11 points, his most since joining the Lakers last month.


The Pelicans avenged a home loss by beating the Heat in Miami on Friday. This despite missing forward Brandon Ingram, out at least two weeks with a knee injury.

This followed their meeting in New Orleans when four players got ejected. Heat forward Jimmy Butler said that the Heat would win the rematch, too.

“It backfired on them today,” said guard Jose Alvarado, who scored 27 points.

  • In the first meeting, Butler and center Thomas Bryant were ejected for the Heat; Alvarado and center Naji Marshall for New Orleans. “We’re just a better team,” the Pelicans’ social media account posted, mocking Butler.
  • New Orleans (43-27) moved into fifth place in the West with the win.

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