WASHINGTON — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining and matched a career high with 42 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Washington Wizards 121-120 on Wednesday night.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 points in the second half, making nine of his 10 field goals in the final quarters.
“Those are shots I’m comfortable shooting,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “I found a sweet spot, and really just take what they give me.”
After he made what proved to be the winning shot, he wagged his finger to his teammates as he walked to the bench.
“We’ve got to get one more stop,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “Just one more stop, and the game will be over, and we got it.”
Kristips Porzingis scored 27 points for Washington, which had its four-game winning streak halted.
Bradley Beal, whose jumper with 6.1 seconds remaining gave the Wizards a 120-118 lead, finished with 25 points. Beal returned after missing five games, three while in the league’s health and safety protocols and two for rest.
“I felt really good tonight — except for the first quarter,” Beal said.
Luguentz Dort contributed 16 points for Oklahoma City. Kyle Kuzma added 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for Washington.
LOSING THE GAME
Washington had a 17-point lead in the first quarter. There were 15 lead changes.
“The transition between the second and third quarters, that’s where we lost it,” Beal said.
Oklahoma City outscored the Wizards 35-20 in the third quarter.
Gilgeous-Alexander is difficult to play.
“He’s very crafty,” Beal said. “He probably doesn’t blow you away with his speed. … When you’re confident in yourself, and you’re playing at those levels, he doesn’t think anybody can guard him. He really has that mindset that he attacks everybody. We should have started fouling (him) and put him on the ground, do something to alter him.’
C Chet Holmgren, the second overall pick in June’s draft, won’t play this season after undergoing right foot surgery. He’s on the current four-game trip, and it’s good for his spirits and for the Thunder.
“When he’s around, I think he elevates the team because he’s about the team,” Daigneault said. “A week away from the team can drag.”
Thunder: F Darius Bazley missed his fourth straight game with a sprained right ankle. G Tre Mann was out for a second game with low back soreness. … The team spent part of Tuesday taking a White House tour. “I thought it was great exposure for our team,” coach Mark Daigneault said. “The season, it narrows your focus into the next city, next game, next day. It’s a broadening experience when you do something like that. It broadens your scope, and I think that’s important in a long season.” … Gilgeous-Alexander missed five free throws. In the season’s first 13 games, he missed six. “I’m running away from fouls now,” he joked. “I’ve got to be better next time.”
Wizards: Beal had a steal, giving him 735 and tying him with Elvin Hayes for third in franchise history. … G Delon Wright hasn’t played since Oct. 25 due to a strained right hamstring. “He’s supposed to get reevaluated this week,” coach Wes Unseld Jr. said.
Thunder: Visit Grizzlies on Friday
Wizards: Host Heat on Friday