NBA regular season

Gilgeous-Alexander, Holmgren-led Thunder end Nuggets win streak in statement rout

Reuters

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Gilgeous-Alexander, Holmgren-led Thunder end Nuggets win streak in statement rout

SPEEDING AWAY. Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7) controls the ball against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) as forward Peyton Watson (8) defends in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren combine for 64 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder complete a stunning blowout of defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 40 points, including 17 in the third quarter, Chet Holmgren finished with 24 points and the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Denver Nuggets 119-93 on Friday night (Saturday, December 30, Manila time).

Josh Giddy scored 12 points and Jalen Williams had 11 points and nine assists for Oklahoma City, which has won three straight overall and beat Denver for the second time in two weeks.

Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and seven turnovers, Peyton Watson scored 14 points, Michael Porter Jr. had 12 points and Jamal Murray dished 11 assists for the Nuggets, who had their six-game winning streak snapped.

Denver was without forward Aaron Gordon for the second straight game while he recovers from lacerations on his hands and face as a result of dog bites on Monday.

The Nuggets cut a six-point halftime deficit to two before Oklahoma City reeled off eight straight points capped on a running dunk from Luguentz Dort that made it 64-54.

The Thunder increased the lead to 73-58 on a fadeaway by Williams and a 3-pointer from Gilgeous-Alexander. Denver called timeout, but a turnover led to a layup by Gilgeous-Alexander, and Isaiah Joe hit a 3-pointer and an 18-footer to make it 80-60 with 3:52 left in the third.

Oklahoma City took an 88-68 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets made a push early in the final period and got within 93-78 on a 3-pointer by Reggie Jackson, but the Thunder responded with 3-pointers by Kenrich Williams and Jalen Williams to go ahead by 21.

Another 3-pointer from Jalen Williams made it 102-80 with 6:49 left, and Holmgren’s fourth 3-pointer of the night ended any comeback hopes. Holmgren finished 4-for-4 from long distance.

Denver scored 41 points in the third quarter on Thursday in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies but managed just 48 points in the first half on Friday. The Nuggets turned the ball over nine times in the first 24 minutes, seven of which came in the second quarter and three on consecutive possessions.

Jokic had five turnovers in the first half.

Gilgeous-Alexander (18 points) and Holmgren (17) did most of the damage in the first half to stake the Thunder to a 54-48 lead at intermission. – Rappler.com

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