Paul, Gilgeous-Alexander lead Thunder past Pistons 108-101
By CLIFF BRUNT
AP Sports Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Chris Paul scored 22 points and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 21 to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Detroit Pistons 108-101 on Friday night.
Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, Dennis Schroder 18 and Steven Adams 16 for the Thunder, who have won nine of 10.
Former Thunder guard Reggie Jackson scored a season-high 28 points for Detroit. Christian Wood scored 27 points and Thon Maker added a season-high 19 for the Pistons.
It was Detroit’s first game since trading Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Drummond is a two-time All-Star who leads the league with 15.8 rebounds per game.
Detroit’s leading scorer, Derrick Rose, sat out with a strained left hip. With the trade and injuries, Pistons coach Dwane Casey had just nine available players.
Oklahoma City shot 54.3% in the first half to lead 52-47 at the break.
Late in the third quarter, Gilgeous-Alexander got the roll on a pull-up jumper and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but got the rebound and made a layup to put the Thunder ahead 74-63.
The Thunder led 78-68 at the end of the third quarter, then Jackson scored seven points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter to cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 85-78.
Detroit cut its deficit to four in the closing minutes, but Paul made two free throws and a jumper to give the Thunder a 103-95 lead with 1:31 to play, creating enough of a cushion for Oklahoma City to hold on.
Pistons: Had six players listed as out with injuries and five players listed as inactive. The inactives included John Henson and Brandon Knight, the players Detroit got back from the Drummond deal. … Maker fouled out in the fourth quarter. … Jackson scored 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting in the fourth quarter.
Thunder: G Terrance Ferguson played in his second game since returning from an eight-game personal absence. He finished with one point in 13 minutes. Rookie Luguentz Dort, who got the start, scored two points in 25 minutes. … Gilgeous-Alexander has at least one block in nine straight games. … Schroder’s streak with at least 20 points off the bench ended at seven games.
Pistons: Host the New York Knicks on Saturday.
Thunder: Host the Boston Celtics on Sunday.