Gilgeous-Alexander leads Thunder to stunning upset over Nuggets

The Oklahoma City Thunder pulled off a remarkable victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, ending their six-game winning streak with a 119-93 blowout. The Thunder were led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored a career-high 40 points, including 17 in the third quarter, where the Thunder outscored the Nuggets 37-18.

Thunder dominate on both ends of the floor

The Thunder played with intensity and aggression on both ends of the floor, forcing 19 turnovers and scoring 28 points off them. They also held the Nuggets to 42.9% shooting from the field and 28.6% from the three-point line. The Thunder shot 51.1% from the field and 40.7% from beyond the arc, making 11 triples.

The Thunder had six players in double figures, with Isaiah Roby adding 15 points and nine rebounds, Josh Giddey contributing 14 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Aaron Wiggins chipping in 13 points off the bench. The Thunder improved to 14-20 on the season, while the Nuggets fell to 20-16.

Nuggets miss Jokic and Porter Jr.

The Nuggets were without their two best players, Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr., who both missed the game due to health and safety protocols. Jokic, the reigning MVP, had been averaging 26.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game, while Porter Jr. had been averaging 22.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

The Nuggets struggled to find an offensive rhythm and defensive cohesion without their stars, as they trailed by as many as 29 points in the game. Jamal Murray was the only Nugget to score more than 20 points, finishing with 21 points and six assists. Will Barton had 18 points and seven rebounds, and Monte Morris added 15 points and six assists.


Gilgeous-Alexander shines in career night

The star of the night was Gilgeous-Alexander, who put on a dazzling display of scoring and playmaking. The 23-year-old guard made 14 of his 22 field goal attempts, including four of his seven three-point attempts. He also made eight of his nine free throws and added five assists and four rebounds.

Gilgeous-Alexander was unstoppable in the third quarter, scoring 17 points on seven of nine shooting, including three of four from the three-point line. He also had three assists and two steals in the period, as he helped the Thunder extend their lead from 10 points at halftime to 28 points at the end of the quarter.

Gilgeous-Alexander said after the game that he was trying to be aggressive and take what the defense gave him. He also praised his teammates for their effort and energy. “We played hard, we played together, we played smart, and we got a good win,” he said.

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