Puerto Rican point guard Jose Alvarado and the New Orleans Pelicans say goodbye to the playoffs

Puerto Rican point guard Jose Alvarado and the New Orleans Pelicans say goodbye to the playoffs

New Orleans – Jalen Williams stood out with a 24-point performance highlighted by a key three-pointer with three minutes left and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated 97-89 New Orleans Pelicans Monday night to complete a four-game sweep of the first-round playoff series.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which trailed by five points in the fourth quarter before taking control of the game with a combination of tough defense and timely shooting.

New Orleans led 80-75 and had a chance to take its biggest lead of the night, when Puerto Rican point guard Jose Alvarado blocked a Gilgeous-Alexander shot and sent CJ McCollum to the other end on a two-on-one break.

But McCollum couldn’t make a basket. Shortly after, a jumper from Chet Holmgren and a three-pointer from Josh Giddey tied it at 80 and sparked a decisive 18-2 run, capped by a Williams second-chance three-pointer, that put the Thunder up 93-82 with 3:08 for playing.

New Orleans, which played the entire series without its star, power forward Zion Williamson, never recovered.

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