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Oklahoma City Thunder

Game #53 Preview | New Orleans Pelicans

The Thunder Guys

thethunderguys

Tip-Off: 8 PM CT

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK)

Television: FSOK

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

In last night’s game against the Nuggets in Denver, Paul George hit a three-point shot with 1.4 seconds left on the clock to tie the score at 124-124. Setting a new season-high at 43 points, it looked like George had probably saved the day and given the Thunder a chance at the win. However, the Nuggets were able to inbound the ball and get a shot off, which was good, to avoid the 19-point fourth quarter meltdown.

The loss marks two in a row for the Thunder, and they desperately need to bounce back tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans. Like the Thunder, the Pelicans have recently lost a key player to injury when DeMarcus Cousins tore his left achilles tendon. The Pelicans have gone 0-2 since Cousins’s injury, but just a couple of days ago, they made a trade for forward Nikola Mirotic, who will look to have an immediate impact.

Tonight’s matchup between the Thunder is one with playoff seeding implications as the Thunder and the Pelicans are currently sitting in the fifth and seventh seeds respectively. A win for either team would help a little, while a loss could hurt a lot. Oklahoma City needs to get back to their defensive identity and play with a sense of urgency, otherwise the two consecutive losses could landslide into something worse.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Russell Westbrook
  • SG: Terrance Ferguson
  • SF: Paul George
  • PF: Carmelo Anthony
  • C: Steven Adams

Pelicans

  • PG: Rajon Rondo
  • SG: Jrue Holiday
  • SF: E’Twaun Moore
  • PF: Dante Cunningham
  • C: Anthony Davis

Injuries

Thunder

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured left patellar tendon) is OUT.

Pelicans

  • DeMarcus Cousins (left achilles rupture) is OUT.
  • Solomon Hill (left hamstring tear) is OUT.
  • Frank Jackson (right foot fracture) is OUT.
  • Alexis Ajinca (right knee injury) is OUT.

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder are 21-12 against the Pelicans (12-5 at home, 9-7 on the road).
  • In nine seasons, the Thunder has won the season series with the Pelicans seven times and lost it twice.
  • The Thunder is 0-1 against the Pelicans so far this season (0-0 at home, 0-1 on the road).
  • The Thunder has won four of the last five games against the Pelicans.
  • In the first matchup between the Thunder and the Pelicans earlier this season, Anthony Davis shot 18/22 from the free throw line, the most made and attempted by any player against the Thunder all season long.

Game Notes

  • Oklahoma City and New Orleans have both lost two games in a row.
  • Oklahoma City is 8-2 in the last 10 games, while New Orleans is 7-3.
  • Oklahoma City is 19-7 at home, while New Orleans is 13-12 on the road.
  • Oklahoma City is 15-14 against the Western Conference, while New Orleans is 13-17.
  • Oklahoma City is 5-4 in the second game of a back-to-back, while New Orleans is 4-1 coming off of two days of rest.

Don’t forget to check out the latest episode of Thunder Things With the Thunder Guys.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter & Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

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