Jalen Williams' late tip-in gives Thunder win over Pistons
OKLAHOMA CITY - Rookie Jalen Williams' putback with less than a second remaining gave the Oklahoma City Thunder a 107-106 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
The pressure was on for the Thunder, who entered the night two games under .500 and hanging on to the final Western Conference play-in spot. The Thunder lost to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night and couldn't afford another loss to a team near the bottom of the league's standings. And Oklahoma City guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander — the league’s No. 4 scorer with 31.3 points per game — was out with a sprained ankle for the second straight game.
Williams answered the call with 27 points, eight rebounds six assists — and the tip-in on Josh Giddey's miss in the closing seconds. Lu Dort scored 20 points, Aaron Wiggins had 19 and Giddey added 18 for the Thunder.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MARCH 29: Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up for a layup while being defended by Isaiah Livers #12 of the Detroit Pistons in the first quarter at Paycom Center on March 29, 2023 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO
Jaden Ivey followed his season-high 32-point performance against Milwaukee on Monday with 24 against the Thunder. The Pistons have the league’s worst record and have lost seven straight and 18 of 19.
Williams scored two quick buckets in close to put the Thunder ahead 97-90 with six minutes remaining, but the Pistons rallied and tied it on a 3-pointer by Ivey with 3:35 to play.
The Thunder led 103-100 with just under two minutes remaining when Oklahoma City's Jaylin Williams took a charge from Ivey with 1:48 remaining for Ivey's sixth foul. Williams then hit a short jumper to bump Oklahoma City's lead to five.
Detroit rallied and Cory Joseph hit a 3-pointer with 13.5 seconds left to put the Pistons ahead 106-105, setting up the final sequence.
Pistons: F Eugene Omoruyi, waived by the Thunder earlier this season, finished with 14 points and five rebounds in 28 minutes. ... C James Wiseman was called for a Flagrant 1 for a hard foul to Jaylin Williams' head in the fourth quarter.
Thunder: G Lindy Waters sat out with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. ... G Isaiah Joe, one of the top 3-point shooters in the league this season, missed all seven of his shots from long range. He made 4 of 5 inside the arc and finished with 12 points.