THE CITY OF OKLAHOMA — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 38 points, Jalen Williams scored 32 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Sacramento Kings 127-113 on Sunday.
Gilgeous-Alexander made 15 of 26 shots and had seven assists and Williams made 13 of 20 shots and had nine assists and eight rebounds for the Thunder. Oklahoma City beat the Kings for the first time in three meetings this season.
“SGA (Gilgeous-Alexander) played like an MVP candidate,” Kings coach Mike Brown said. “We threw the kitchen sink at him and he still scored 38. And then Jalen Williams was really, really big. And I say he’s big because he was 32 but he was extremely effective throughout the night.
Lu Dort had 17 points and nine rebounds and Chet Holmgren added 14 points for the Thunder, who scored 30 points off 18 Kings turnovers.
Oklahoma City bounced back from a 146-111 loss at Dallas on Saturday.
“I thought we were a lot more nervous today than yesterday,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “And I thought guys, it’s not about reacting to a game, but it’s definitely about recognizing where our standards are and getting the car back on the road when we’re not up to par. And I think the guys did a great job today.
Domantas Sabonis had 21 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds for the Kings, his second straight triple-double and fourth in six games this month. It was his 17th triple-double of the season and 49th of his career.
Malik Monk led the Kings with 26 points.
De’Aaron Fox, who averaged nearly 27 points per game, was held to 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting for the Kings.
“I thought Lu did a good job with him, especially in the first half,” Daigneault said. “We really have him under control there. He’s been unleashed on us. He’s shot the ball incredibly well this season. … He’s obviously given us some trouble in the past, but I think we’ve done some good work. good job with him today – Lu, and then everyone else to help him.
Gilgeous-Alexander, the league’s second-leading scorer with 31 points per game entering the day, scored 15 points in the first quarter on 6-for-8 shooting. Gilgeous-Alexander and Williams each scored 19 points to help the Thunder to take a 67-57 halftime lead.
The Thunder controlled the third. A 3-pointer by Dort and then a dunk by Williams increased Oklahoma City’s lead to 84-66. Gilgeous-Alexander’s hard dribble left Harrison Barnes going the wrong way, then Gilgeous-Alexander drove to the baseline and hit a short jumper to make it 88-66. It was the final basket of a 16-0 run. The Thunder led 100-83 heading into the fourth.
The Kings cut their deficit to eight in the fourth, but the Thunder remained in control. A 3-point basket from Gilgeous-Alexander with just under four minutes remaining put the Thunder up 121-108.
“We did really well today,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I think that set the tone for the rest of the evening. We were playing on our identity from the jump.
Kings: Visit Phoenix Tuesday night.
Thunder: Visit Orlando Tuesday night.
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