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Devonte’ Graham’s long-range buzzer-beater caps off wild ending in Thunder-Pelicans thriller

Once the NBA regular season is in full flow, it’s difficult to expect much from a Wednesday night contest in November between two teams at the bottom of the Western Conference.

However, the Pelicans and Thunder had other ideas. The two rebuilding franchises dueled it out in Oklahoma City, in a game with 15 lead changes and 14 ties, providing one of the craziest endings in the league’s regular-season history. 

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The 113-110 final score far from tells the complete story. 

Clutch Devonte’ Graham

With no timeouts, just 1.4 seconds left on the game clock and the scores tied at 110-110, this game was all set to go to overtime. That’s how it usually flows given the earlier mentioned circumstances but Devonte’ Graham set this game apart by putting his name in history. 

Nailing a prayer from near the 3-point line on the opposite side of the court, the 6-foot-1 guard not only sealed the victory but nailed one of the longest game-winning buzzer-beaters in NBA history.

As per ESPN Stats & Info, the 61-foot shot is the longest game-winning buzzer-beater in the last 25 years. This was Graham’s fifth triple of the game, scoring all of his 15 points from beyond the arc while also dishing out a game-high eight assists. 

“Yeah I called bank on that one,” Graham said postgame. “You know today’s the 15th. We got paid today. Took it to the bank.”

This shot comes nearly three weeks after Graham had nailed a clutch shot in Salt Lake City to lead the Pelicans to an upset win over the Utah Jazz. 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sets it up

The epic ending would not have come about if not for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s clutch shot from beyond the arc. Coming out a timeout with 4.5 seconds left and down 110-107, the Canadian guard’s prayer shot from near halfcourt tied things up. 

The two clutch back-to-back shots put this game alongside the closest contests in recent NBA history.

Gilgeous-Alexander finished the game with a team-high 33 points, but couldn’t stop the team from slipping to their third straight loss — their 13th from their past 16 games. Moreover, the loss puts the Thunder in an unenviable position at the bottom of the Western Conference.

No close game without Brandon Ingram

Even before SGA and Graham spiced things up, it was sixth-year wing Brandon Ingram that sparked the Pelicans’ comeback. The Thunder held their largest lead of 12 midway through the second quarter but Ingram ensured the game wouldn’t end in an easy victory for the hosts. 

Over the final three minutes of the game, Ingram outscored the Thunder 10-8 and scored all of the Pelicans points in that span, barring Graham’s game-winner. 

He finished with a game-high 34 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field and was invaluable in helping the team continue their turnaround. 

This victory was the Pelicans’ sixth win in their last 11 games, having started the season 3-16 through the first 19 games. 

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