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Thunder Game Day #46: at New Orleans Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder (26-19, 11-13 away) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (29-16, 16-7 home)
Monday, Jan. 23 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Smoothie King Center (17,188)

Thunder Game Day #29: at New Orleans Pelicansvs. Thunder Digest

TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 676-5, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 751/1751 HD)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: Oklahoma City is a 1½-point favorite. O/U is 215½
Notes: Thunder: here | Pelicans: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Oklahoma City knocked off the Utah Jazz on Monday night behind a spectacular Russell Westbrook last second shot to end their two-game losing streak.
  • New Orleans beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 124-122 on Monday night without Anthony Davis.
  • Oklahoma City is 2-0 vs. New Orleans this year, including a 121-110 win on Dec. 21.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).

SCOUTING THE PELICANS

  • The New Orleans Pelicans are 18-27, 10th in the Western Conference.
  • New Orleans is 4-6 in their last 10 games.
  • Oklahoma City is 2-0 against NOLA this season.
  • The Thunder beat New Orleans 121-110 on Dec. 21.
  • Oklahoma City is 19-11 all-time against New Orleans in the Oklahoma City era.
  • The Thunder are 8-6 in the Smoothie King Center.
  • Dante Cunningham (illness) is a game-time decision.
  • Anthony Davis (quadriceps) is a game-time decision.
  • Tyreke Evans (ankle) is a game-time decision.
  • Quincy Pondexter (knee) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over New Orleans came on Feb. 27, 2013, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 119-74 (45-point margin of victory).
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (25 points) vs. the Pelicans occurred during an 80-105 loss on Nov. 21, 2008.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIP-DUBS

  • Russell Westbrook has 59 career triple-doubles, that’s best for sixth all-time.
  • 16 of the 59 are against Houston, Orlando, Washington, and Philadelphia. He has four against each team.
  • Russell Westbrook seven triple-doubles in a row this season is the most since 1989 when Jordan had seven in a row and 10 in 11 games.
  • Westbrook is tied with Larry Bird for sixth all-time.

ALL-TIME TRIPLE-DOUBLE LIST

Rank Name Triple-doubles
1 Oscar Robertson 181
2 Magic Johnson 138
3 Jason Kidd 108
4 Russell Westbrook 79

INJURY REPORT

  • Oklahoma City is healthy.

50 IS NIFTY

  • On March 24, the Thunder claimed a 22-point home victory over the Jazz and in the process, OKC recorded the team’s 50th win of the season.
  • Oklahoma City has now finished with a winning percentage of .610 (equivalent to 50 wins) six times dating back to the 2009-10 season.
  • Only the San Antonio Spurs (seven seasons with .610 winning percentage), have reached that benchmark more during this period.

STILL GOOD ODDS

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the eighth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the fifth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

NEXT UP

  • The Thunder will do another back-to-back, but this time they’re heading home to the Peake, to take on the Dallas Mavericks for the first time this season.
  • Dallas is 15-29 on the season, 13th in the Western Conference.
  • This will be the first meeting between the two teams this season.
  • The Mavericks hosts the Knicks tonight at home.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Control the paint

The Thunder are one of the league’s worst in allowing points in the paint. With Anthony Davis on the court tonight, Oklahoma City has to find a way to limit what the Pelicans do. Oklahoma City is allowing 48.6 points per game in the paint. When the Thunder win, they’re scoring 55 points a game. In losses, they’re only scoring 43.2 points.

Fast break points

The Pelicans score 17 points a game on the break in victories and only 12 in losses. Oklahoma City should win this as they’re one of the best in the association. They’re scoring 16.3 points per game on the break, third best in the association.

Defend the three

The Thunder are allowing opponents shoot 42 percent from deep when they’re losing. New Orleans can shoot over 38 percent from deep in victories. Both are putting up only 30 percent in wins/losses. So, if the Thunder can defend the perimeter, could be a long night for the Pelicans.

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