Pelicans-Thunder was not a game many fans outside of New Orleans or Oklahoma City had circled on their calendars on Wednesday night, and with an overtime thriller on national television between the Lakers and Mavs ending in buzzer-beating chaos, it didn’t figure to be the lead NBA story.
However, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Devonte’ Graham had other ideas, as the Thunder trailed by three with 4.5 seconds left, when Gilgeous-Alexander hit an absurd three from the logo while trying to evade Garrett Temple’s efforts at purposefully fouling him. While everyone was rightfully freaking out about that, the Pelicans got the ball into Graham who rather calmly hoisted a 61-footer from the other three-point line that banked in to give New Orleans a 110-107 win.
— NBA (@NBA) December 16, 2021
It is the most ridiculous sequence of the year in the NBA, and it’s hard to imagine anything is going to top it. SGA’s three was preposterous and probably shouldn’t have happened as Temple definitely gave him a push (or should’ve been an and-one if they were allowing the shot to get off). And then Graham is able to get a clean run-up to launch the ball about as high as any successful heave you will see, and it gives a little smooch off the glass and drops in.
As for the rarity of that heave going in, it’s the longest game-winning shot in at least 25 years.
Per @ESPNStatsInfo: Devonte’ Graham made a 61-footer at the buzzer to win the game.
That is the longest game-winning buzzer-beater over the last 25 years.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) December 16, 2021
Gilgeous-Alexander’s reaction tells the story for the Thunder, as he almost falls to the floor in disbelief, storming off while cursing to himself wondering how that happened. For the Pelicans, it was sheer elation as they, no pun intended, stole the thunder from Austin Reaves’ buzzer-beater in Dallas moments earlier.