Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drained a go-ahead basket with 32.5 seconds left on the Oklahoma City Thunder, the top seed in the Western Conference, earned a 94-92 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in their NBA playoff opener.

Hours after he was named a finalist for NBA Most Valuable Player along with Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, Gilgeous-Alexander scored 28 points to lead the Thunder.

The Pelicans were missing star Zion Williamson because of a hamstring strain but refused to buckle at Oklahoma's Paycom Center.