Gilgeous-Alexander helps Thunder dispatch Pelicans

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 23 points, Darius Bazley added 17 off the bench, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting New Orleans Pelicans 115-104 on Saturday.

Oklahoma City also got 17 points off the bench from Dennis Schroder. Schroder grabbed nine rebounds and finished with a game-best 20 plus-minus rating.

JJ Redick scored 17 points for the Pelicans.

The Thunder led most of the way in the matinee, but New Orleans kept it close throughout. Redick's 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter pulled the Pelicans to within three points but they couldn't get closer.

Danilo Gallinari started slow offensively, but he made a pivotal 3-pointer, a two-point bucket and two free throws in the late minutes to maintain the Thunder's cushion. Gallinari finished with 16 points.

New Orleans, which has lost five of its first six games, scored 52 bench points, led by Redick's 17. Guards Josh Hart and Frank Jackson added 12 apiece. Hart recorded a double-double with a career-high 15 rebounds.

Jrue Holiday's 16 points were most among the Pelicans starters. Holiday returned from a minor knee sprain to lead the Pelicans to their first win of the season at Denver on Thursday. New Orleans was still without center Derrick Favors, who missed his third game with hamstring soreness.

Oklahoma City was without center Steven Adams (knee) for the second straight game. Nerlens Noel, coming off a big individual performance in Wednesday's loss to Portland, scored eight points and blocked four shots.

Noel's rim protection contributed to a solid defensive effort. The Thunder held the Pelicans to just 42.6 percent shooting from the floor.

The difference for Oklahoma City was a 40.5 (15-of-37) 3-point percentage. Gallinari went 4-of-6 from deep, Gilgeous-Alexander went 3-of-5, and Chris Paul also hit 3-of-5 en route to 15 points. Paul also had nine assists.

Bazley's three 3-pointers powered his best effort of the season. He scored 13 points combined in his previous five999 appearances.

--Field Level Media