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RECAP: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scores 24 as Thunder beat Blazers

Jan 25, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) goes up for a shot on Oklahoma City Thunder center Mike Muscala (33) and guard Kenrich Williams (34) during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Muscala made a career-best six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 23 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder post a 125-122 victory over the host Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored a team-high 24 points and added nine rebounds and six assists as the Thunder improved to 1-3 on a five-game road trip.

Darius Bazley had 19 points and seven rebounds, Isaiah Roby scored 16 points and Hamidou Diallo had 11 for Oklahoma City.

Anfernee Simons established season highs of 26 points and six 3-pointers for Portland, which fell for just the third time in the past nine games. Damian Lillard notched 26 points and 10 assists, Carmelo Anthony scored a season-best 22 points and Gary Trent Jr. also had 22 points.

Enes Kanter had 13 points and a season-best 22 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who shot 46.9 percent from the field, including 14 of 41 from 3-point range.

Portland used a frantic 9-1 run to pull within 123-120 on Lillard’s 3-pointer with 5.5 seconds left. Gilgeous-Alexander split two free throws with 3.7 seconds to play and Lillard drained a 22-footer with 1.6 seconds remaining to make it a two-point margin.

Gilgeous-Alexander split two free throws with 0.9 seconds left, missing the second and the Trail Blazers had no opportunity for a legitimate tying attempt.

The Thunder converted 51.2 percent of their field-goal attempts and were 18 of 40 from behind the arc while beating Portland for the seventh time in the past nine meetings.

The Trail Blazers scored the game’s first basket but didn’t lead again until Anthony’s basket put his team ahead 95-94 with 10:33 remaining in the game.

A short time later, Oklahoma City put together a 12-2 surge with Diallo’s basket giving the club a 111-100 lead with 6:24 left.

Lillard’s layup and Anthony’s 3-pointer helped Portland move within 117-111 with 3:26 left but the Thunder answered with Bazley’s 3-pointer and Roby’s two free throws to push the lead back to 11 with 2:30 to play before the Trail Blazers made one last charge.

Oklahoma City started strong and led by as many as 17 in the opening quarter before settling for a 34-24 lead entering the second quarter.

Muscala made five treys as part of a 16-point half as Oklahoma City led 69-60 at the break. The Thunder held a 94-91 lead heading into the final quarter.

–Field Level Media