Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander thought he had just sent Wednesday night’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans into overtime. So did pretty much everyone in the arena and watching on TV. One person who knew it wasn’t over, however, was Pelicans guard Devonte’ Graham.
Following Gilgeous-Alexander’s incredibly difficult 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left in the game, Graham took the ensuing inbounds pass and launched a heave from just beyond the 3-point line on the opposite end of the court. We see this type of Hail Mary at the end of so many basketball games, but this time the prayer was answered. Graham’s 61-foot shot banked through the basket, giving the Pelicans a miraculous 113-110 victory.
Here are a couple of different angles of Graham’s game-winner. It certainly deserves them.
“When I was at Kansas, I used to shoot half-court shots every game, every practice — trick shots and stuff like that,” said Graham, who indicated that he was going to give the game ball to his mother or grandmother. “For me it was just playing around. You never know, you might get into that situation one day, just like today. And it ends up paying out for you.”
The game-winner was made all the more unique and exciting because of the degree of difficulty of Gilgeous-Alexander’s 30-foot 3-pointer that preceded it. This is the first game in the last 25 seasons that featured multiple tying or go-ahead shots from at least 30 feet away within the final five seconds of the game, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Graham’s 61-footer is also the longest game-winning buzzer-beater over the last 25 years.
New Orleans improves to 9-1 with the win, while the Thunder fall to 8-19. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 33 points on the night, while Graham finished with 15 points, all of which came on 3-pointers. None was more memorable, however, than the 3/4-court game-winner that New Orleans fans will remember for quite some time.
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