NBA: SGA, Williams score 24pts apiece as Thunder sweep Pelicans in West playoff series

NBA: SGA, Williams score 24pts apiece as Thunder sweep Pelicans in West playoff series

MVP finalist Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and teammate Jalen Williams scored 24 points each to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 97-89 win over the New Orleans Pelicans in Game 4 at Smoothie King Center on Monday night.

The Thunder, who became the youngest team in NBA history to win a playoff series, completed the sweep of New Orleans in their Western Conference first-round series, keeping the Pelicans to below 100 points in all four games and below 90 points in the last two games.

Gilgeous-Alexander had 10 rebounds and two blocks, while Williams, who has been really immense for OKC this postseason, added eight rebounds and four assists.

“To win basketball games, a lot goes into it,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We just know those little things come with winning and we do it every opportunity we get.”

“I turned it over, clearly. And then they would have got a layup if it wasn’t for Dub,” Gilgeous-Alexander added while referring to Williams’ defense. “I just wanted to make sure that if he did his part, I was there to do my part.”

Josh Giddey had 14 points and shot 4-of-6 from the three-point line; Chet Holmgren finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and five assists; and Thunder coach Mark Daigneault, who won the NBA Coach of the Year Award a day earlier, praised his team for their togetherness in achieving their goal.

“Guys played with great confidence and when we play offense the way we did in the fourth quarter, the shots will go in a little bit more,” Daigneault said. “When we needed to, we really worked together, executed, got great shots. The guys delivered.”

The Pelicans, who are now out of the playoffs, obviously missed Zion Williamson, their leading scorer, who has been out with an injury. They were, however, led by CJ McCollum’s 20 points.

Jonas Valanciunas finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds; Naji Marshall had 16 points from the bench; and Herb Jones settled for 11 points.

OKC will now look out for the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks series, whom they will lock horns against in the Western Conference semifinals.

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