EditorsNote: changes to “13 seconds” in third graf
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 27 points and Dennis Schroder added 24 as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the host Hornets 104-102 in overtime Friday night, aided by Charlotte’s missed free throws.
The Hornets had a chance to tie the game with 1.9 seconds to play in the extra session, but rookie forward P.J. Washington missed on a pair of free-throw attempts.
The Thunder led throughout overtime, though Devonte’ Graham’s 3-pointer for Charlotte closed the gap to 103-102 with 13 seconds left.
Chris Paul, who made a couple of key baskets down the stretch of regulation while playing in his home state, finished with 16 points, and Steven Adams had 14 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma City.
Terry Rozier’s 26 points paced the Hornets, while Graham ended up with 15 points and 13 assists and Washington had 14 points. Miles Bridges chipped in 11 points, and Bismack Biyombo and Cody Martin scored 10 points apiece. Biyombo finished with 10 rebounds.
The Thunder have won five of their past six games. The Hornets lost for the fifth time in their past six games.
Oklahoma City scored six straight points to go up 91-87 in the fourth quarter. Bridges made a 3-pointer for Charlotte at the 37.3-second mark.
Paul converted again at the other end with a step-back jumper to increase the lead to 93-90. Washington scored on a layup, and Schroder made the second free throw of a two-shot foul before Graham’s tying basket with 1.9 seconds left.
Paul scored seven points in the last 3:34 of regulation, but he missed a potential game-winning shot, so the game went to overtime.
Graham made two 3-point baskets in a 30-second span of the fourth quarter as the Hornets grabbed an 83-78 advantage.
The Thunder led by 16 points in the second quarter before the Hornets cut the deficit to 53-43 by halftime.
The Hornets were 1-for-19 on first-half 3-point attempts, including 0-for-6 from Graham, the team’s scoring leader. Charlotte finished 7-for-39 from long range.
Still, Charlotte shot 17-for-28 from 2-point range in the opening half. For the game, the Thunder outshot the Hornets 44.9 percent to 41.6 percent from the floor.
—Field Level Media