Gilgeous-Alexander’s 33 Points Lead Thunder To 102-97 Win Over Timberwolves

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA News
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In a compelling Western Conference clash, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led a fourth-quarter comeback with 11 of his 33 points. He guided the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 102-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves during Saturday’s NBA action.

Jaylin Williams contributed 20 points, while Minnesota’s own Chet Holmgren added 15 for the Thunder. Oklahoma City, initially trailing by 11 early in the fourth quarter, rallied to secure their second win in four games, closing in on Minnesota in the conference standings.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault of Oklahoma City praised the team’s resilience, especially given their shooting struggles and the Timberwolves’ robust defense in the second half.

“We just had great resilience tonight,” Daigneault said. “It’s one thing to defend like that, but it’s another when you’re shooting the ball so poorly. We just had a really hard time cracking them. They played great defense in the second half.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves Updates

Despite shooting only 39.5% from the field, the Thunder successfully limited the Timberwolves to 14 fourth-quarter points on 3-13 shooting.

For Minnesota, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns each scored 19 points, with Naz Reid adding 18. The Timberwolves, who had regained the top spot in the West after a successful four-game streak, faced turnovers as a persistent challenge, allowing the Thunder to stay in contention before their decisive 24-10 scoring run to end the game. Minnesota’s 21 turnovers led to 28 points for Oklahoma City.

“It’s as simple as being better with the ball,” Towns said. “I thought we gave ourselves a chance at the end of the game, just didn’t find a way to win today. They hit some shots when they had to; shoutout to them, all respect to them. We’ve just got to figure it out next game.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves Updates

Acknowledging his team’s turnover issues, Edwards, who had five himself, expressed confidence in their ability to improve.

“We got to stop turning it over,” Edwards said. “I think it’s that simple. Myself, we’re playing in crowds. Sometimes it’s just a pass to the other team. Just got to cut back on them. We’ll be all right.”

The Thunder tied the game at 90 with a 19-7 run, culminating in a crucial three-pointer from Gilgeous-Alexander with just over a minute left, giving them a 96-94 lead. Teammate Luguentz Dort commended Gilgeous-Alexander’s confidence and reliability in taking such critical shots.

“He’s been in this position so many times now,” Dort said. “I’m not surprised when he takes those types of shots. He’s so much confident. He knows he can make those shots for the team, so we all have trust in him to take those type of shots for us and he knocked it down.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves Updates

Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert made one of two free throws to narrow the gap, but a missed three-pointer by Mike Conley and subsequent free throws by Williams swung the momentum back to Oklahoma City. Despite Reid’s scoring efforts, Isaiah Joe’s free throws maintained the Thunder’s lead. In the final seconds, Edwards’ missed free throws sealed the game for Oklahoma City.

Despite an imperfect game, Daigneault lauded his team’s defensive performance and mental toughness.

“I just thought our ability to defend, despite an imperfect night, showed great mental toughness by our team,” Daigneault said.

With this win, Oklahoma City now leads the season series 2-1, with their first road win against Minnesota. The teams are set to meet again on January 29 in Oklahoma City.

Looking ahead, the Thunder will host the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, while the Timberwolves will welcome the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.

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