Williamson scores 32 but Pelicans fall to Thunder

Danilo Gallinari scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder held off the New Orleans Pelicans 123-118 on Thursday night.

The Thunder completed a four-game sweep of the season series in the last game for both teams before the All-Star break.

Dennis Schroder had seven of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 17 points, Chris Paul had 14 points and 12 assists, Steven Adams had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Mike Muscala scored 10.

Rookie Zion Williamson led the Pelicans with a season-high 32 points, surpassing the 31 he had two nights earlier against the Portland Trail Blazers. JJ Redick scored 24, Lonzo Ball had 16 points and Jrue Holiday totaled 14 points and 11 assists. New Orleans played its third straight game without All-Star forward Brandon Ingram, who has a sprained ankle.

The Thunder led by eight points at halftime, but Williamson scored eight points as the Pelicans took a 76-75 lead.

Paul made a 3-pointer to put Oklahoma City back on top, and Muscala had eight points during a 14-0 run that gave the Thunder a 94-81 lead.

Holiday’s layup stopped the run, Redick scored eight straight points and Holiday made another layup to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 98-93 at the end of the quarter.

Redick and Williamson scored four points each as New Orleans pulled even at 101.

Schroder’s 3-pointer put the Thunder back on top, but Williamson answered with back-to-back baskets.

Gallinari’s basket put Oklahoma City ahead before Ball’s 3-pointer gave New Orleans a 111-110 lead.

But Gallinari scored the next five points to give the Thunder the lead for good.

Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field in the first quarter and Nicolo Melli’s 3-pointer gave New Orleans a 30-29 lead at the end of the period.

The score was tied five times in the second quarter before Oklahoma City finished with a strong push. Adams beat the buzzer with a one-handed toss from beyond half court to give the Thunder a 66-58 halftime lead.


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