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


Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may be headed for another year of being a member of the All-NBA first team, and Friday was the latest example of why.Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

Gilgeous-Alexander scored 23 of his 37 points in the second half to lead the Thunder to a win over the defending Eastern Conference champion Heat, shooting 13-of-25 from the field. He is second in the NBA in scoring (31.2 ppg).

“The shot-making is great,” coach Mark Daigneault told reporters. “He’s had the talent from day one. But what I’m most impressed with is the restraint he’s showing and his ability to see the big picture, to leverage that talent for the good of the team while he’s still trying to accomplish individual things.”

  • Gilgeous-Alexander, of course, is hesitant to take all of the credit. “We have guys like that across the board that do the little things that add up at the end of the night … Everybody has a role and on this team everyone takes pride and does their role to the best of their ability,” he said. “And that’s what I love about them.”


The Pelicans led by 35 points before having to hang on to beat the shorthanded 76ers in Philadelphia on Friday night.

But hey, forward Brandon Ingram said New Orleans will take it.

“A win is a win and we found a way at the end of the game to pull it through,” he told reporters. “That’s all that matters.”

  • Added coach Willie Green: “The first half was just a beautiful display of basketball. … We did a great job building the lead. Don’t give it all away by getting too relaxed. I felt we got a bit relaxed and (Philly) turned it up.” 


Guard Jalen Green threw down a few wicked dunks in the Rockets’ road win over the Trail Blazers on Friday, swinging the momentum in his team’s favor. Oh, and making all the highlight reels.

“It’s a big energy booster,” Green said. “The team with our sidelines, standing there yelling. I just get chills to the body. … It just changes the whole atmosphere.”

  • Coach Ime Udoka admittedly challenged the team at halftime. “I love the way they came out and responded to the challenge, to come out and hold them to 24 in the third, 20 in the fourth. Really used the defense to ignite our game in general, so the energy was better, and they responded to it well.”

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