Thunder edge narrow win against Pelicans with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s final-minute basket

In a nail-biting opening match of the Western Conference playoffs, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a close 94-92 win against the New Orleans Pelicans in the opening match of the Western Conference sets .

The game was intense, with Gilgeous-Alexander scoring 28 points, including the crucial basket that put the Thunder ahead in the final minute. His outstanding performance was the turning point in securing the victory for the Thunder.

The match went down to the final moments, with CJ McCollum missing a tough 3-pointer, allowing Thunder to fix their first home playoff win since 2019. Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren also stepped up, with Williams contributing 19 points and Holmgren adding 15 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. This fearless performance by the Thunder sets the stage for an exciting Game 2 on Wednesday night.

On the Pelicans’ side, Trey Murphy III and CJ McCollum led their team’s efforts, with Murphy scoring 21 points and McCollum adding 20. Despite their excellent performance, they couldn’t overcome the Thunder’s determined game. Notably, Zion Williamson, the Pelicans’ star scorer during the regular season, was sidelined due to a strained left hamstring, affecting the team’s offensive power.

NBA announces Jokic, Gilgeous-Alexander and Doncic as MVP finalists

The finalist for the 2023–24 NBA MVP award is now trending as the NBA has announced the top contenders. Finalists are Nikola Jokic from the Denver Nuggets, Luka Doncic from the Dallas Mavericks, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Jokic’s impact on the Nuggets has been immense, leading them to their first-ever NBA championship last season. This year, he’s been a key player in securing the second position in the Western Conference playoffs. His impressive stats include averaging 26.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been an outstanding player for Thunder, helping them clinch the West’s top position. With an average of 30.1 points per game, his scoring ability ranks among the top in the league. Additionally, he leads the NBA with 150 steals, showcasing his defensive ability.

Doncic, known for his scoring ability, has been outstanding this season with an NBA-best 33.9 points per game. He’s also been a playmaking force, ranking second in assists per game (9.8) and 3-pointers made per game (4.1).

Who will win the MVP in your opinion? Tell us in the comments section.


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