OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a baseline jumper as time expired, and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 123-121 on Monday to ruin Damian Lillard’s record-setting night.
Gilgeous-Alexander drove to his left and drained a 14-foot pullup over Justise Winslow. The shot capped a 35-point performance for Gilgeous-Alexander, an emerging star who entered the night third in the NBA in scoring.
Lillard made a reverse layup with 3.5 seconds remaining to tie it. He scored 28 points to surpass Clyde Drexler’s franchise career scoring record.
Drexler, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had 18,040 points for the Trail Blazers from 1983-95. Lillard entered the night needing 21 to move ahead of him.
Lillard tied Drexler’s mark on a 3-pointer from well beyond the line in the third quarter that put the Trail Blazers up 72-67, then broke the mark on a free throw with 1:33 left in the period. Moments later, the Thunder public address announcer informed the crowd of Lillard’s accomplishment, and the crowd gave him an ovation. Lillard sat and rested, focused on a game the Trail Blazers were trailing by three points at the time.
The score was tied at 94 heading into the fourth. Portland’s Anfernee Simons hit back-to-back contested 3s to give Portland a 115-110 lead with about four minutes remaining.
Oklahoma City recovered, and Gilgeous-Alexander made two free throws to put the Thunder ahead 120-119 with 16.6 seconds left. The game was within two points the rest of the way.
Trail Blazers: Former Thunder F Jerami Grant scored 26 points. … Former Thunder head coach Scott Brooks is an assistant in Portland. … Lillard was issued a technical foul in the second quarter for arguing a foul call against him. … F Josh Hart also was called for a technical in the second quarter.
Thunder: Gilgeous-Alexander played after missing the previous game with a bruised lower back. … G Josh Giddey and F Darius Bazley sat out with non-COVID-19 illnesses. … Gilgeous-Alexander was the only Thunder player to score more than 13 points.
The teams play again in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.