LOS ANGELES: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points to propel the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 113-110 NBA victory over LeBron James and the weary Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
Gilgeous-Alexander connected on 11 of 18 shots from the field and made all 10 of his free throws.
Jalen Williams scored 21 points and rookie center Chet Holmgren added 18 for the Thunder, who had seven players score in double figures.
Anthony Davis led Los Angeles with 31 points and 14 rebounds. James had 21 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Lakers, who led by as many as 14 points in the first half but couldn’t keep the pressure on in the second night of a back-to-back and with a bevy of players nursing injuries.
Oklahoma City out-scored Los Angeles 42-23 in the second quarter to lead 72-60 at halftime and never trailed the rest of the way.
“I thought we played really good ball the first quarter,” James said. “But after that you could start seeing the three in four (nights), back-to-back, the bodies that we don’t have started to wear on us... especially versus a young team like OKC.”
In Chicago, the short-handed Bulls held off Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks 120-113 in overtime.
Nikola Vucevic scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who were without injured Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.
Alex Caruso drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to send it to overtime, and Caruso’s steal set up Patrick Williams’s dunk that capped the scoring in the extra session.
A dunk by Antetokounmpo had put Milwaukee up 110-109 with 2:41 left in overtime, but Vucevic answered with a dunk that put Chicago up for good.
Antetokounmpo shook off a slow start — he scored just four points in the first half — to lead the Bucks with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
Brook Lopez scored 20, Malik Beasley added 19 and Damian Lillard had 18 for the Bucks, who trailed by 12 early in the fourth quarter but grabbed a 106-103 lead with 5.2sec left in regulation.
Miami’s Jimmy Butler returned from a two-game injury absence and scored 24 of his 36 points in the second half to help the Heat rally for a 142-132 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Butler grabbed 10 rebounds and rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr scored 24 points off the bench as the Heat withstood a 44-point performance from Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton.
The Heat trailed until the fourth quarter, but out-scored the Pacers 45-32 in the final frame.
The Charlotte Hornets, who confirmed Thursday that LaMelo Ball will miss significant time with a sprained right ankle, got a morale-boosting 129-128 victory over the Nets in Brooklyn.
Terry Rozier scored 37 points for the Hornets, his step-back basket with 39.9sec remaining putting Charlotte up 129-126.
Nic Claxton managed to cut the deficit with a layup, but Cam Johnson came up empty on a three-point attempt in the waning seconds and the Hornets escaped with the win.
Elsewhere, Jalen Brunson starred for the New York Knicks, scoring 42 points in a 118-112 victory over the reeling Detroit Pistons at Madison Square Garden.
The Pistons have now lost 16 straight — including all 15 of their games in November.
San Antonio’s skid continued, too, the Spurs dropping their 13th straight — 137-135 to the Atlanta Hawks.
Trae Young scored a season-high 45 points for the Hawks. Jeremy Sochan scored 33 for San Antonio and rookie Victor Wembanyama added 21 points 12 rebounds and four blocked shots in the defeat.
The Portland Trail Blazers, trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half, came alive after the break to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-95.
Shaedon Sharpe scored 20 of his 29 points in the second half, Jerami Grant added 13 points and rookie Duop Reath chipped in 13 off the bench to help Portland mount their comeback.