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Thunder vs Pelicans preview and gamethread: OKC looks for another big win over Davis, New Orleans

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The Thunder travel to the Big Easy looking to stifle Anthony Davis and the Pelicans.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Game: Oklahoma City Thunder @ New Orleans Pelicans

Time: 7PM CST

Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans

Broadcast: ESPN, FSOK

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The Thunder are coming fresh off a big win at home over the Utah Jazz, where just about everything went right. Just about everything. Russell Westbrook continues to battle some combination of physical and mental distress, so while he can still post triple-doubles in his sleep, he can’t seem to make a free throw. This will be something to watch as he battles against the always tough Jrue Holiday.

However, Westbrook may have a break, because here is tonight’s Pelicans injury report:

Without PG Elfrid Payton and wing player Nikola Mirotic, Billy Donovan is presented with some interesting opportunities defensively. Could we see Paul George, not having to worry about Mirotic, guarding Holiday for stretches, knowing that the Thunder have one of the rare defensive combos in Steven Adams and Jerami Grant who can pair up to defend Anthony Davis? It may perhaps give Westbrook a little bit of a break defensively, as he faces the team who, when they last played, resulted in Westbrook’s ankle sprain.

On the other end of the court, while New Orleans has one of the league’s best offenses, their defense has struggled. In their first matchup, OKC won with a score of 122-116 and had one of their signature hammerfall 3rd quarters that propelled them to victory.

Defensive aggression early on — but without heavy fouling on Davis — combined with patience on offense should give the Thunder a pathway to victory. But we also said that about Chicago.

Poll

Who do you think will win tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Thunder
    (87 votes)
  • 17%
    Pelicans
    (18 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now