The Oklahoma City Thunder led for the entire first half on Sunday night against the New Orleans Pelicans, but the Pelicans made it a game in the second half. After 6 lead changes and 12 ties, the Thunder pulled out the 107-104 victory over the Pelicans on the road.
The Thunder got off to a much hotter start today than they did on Friday night against the Pelicans. OKC couldn’t miss a shot to start, and 7 different players got on the scoreboard as the Thunder jumped out to a 28-14 lead with 4:32 left in the period, but New Orleans finished the quarter on a 15-4 run to make it 33-29 with OKC on top.
The Thunder scored the first 6 points of the second quarter to push the lead back to double digits, but the Pelicans were able to trim the deficit to 1 to make it 46-45 with just under 5 minutes left in the first half. New Orleans kept it close the rest of the quarter, and at the half OKC led 56-55.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hit a 3 for OKC to start the second half, giving the Thunder a 4-point advantage on the Pelicans, but New Orleans put together a 7-2 lead to take their first lead of the night at 62-61 with 8:40 left in the third quarter. It didn’t last for long, though, as the Thunder battled back to retake the lead, and at the end of the third, OKC led 82-77.
The Pelicans would not roll over, and in the fourth quarter, New Orleans was able to tie it up at 84-84 just a couple of minutes into the period. It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the final frame, and the Pelicans were able to take a 5-point lead with 5:15 left in the game, but OKC finished strong behind some clutch shots from Chris Paul and some key free throws from Steven Adams. In the end, it was all Thunder as they left with the 107-104 win.
Thunder Player of the Game
Danilo Gallinari has been kind of quiet lately for the Thunder, but tonight, he showed up in a big way. Despite a rough night from three for Oklahoma City, Gallinari led the way shooting 4-of-7 (57.1%) from deep and 8-of-14 (57.1%) overall from the floor. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and handed out 3 assists in one of his best performances in quite some time.
The Thunder is headed back to Oklahoma City for a couple of home games. On Wednesday, OKC hosts the Indiana Pacers (12-7, who) are one of just three teams to beat the Thunder by double digits so far this season. Tip-off for that game is at 7 PM, and it be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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