Oklahoma City Thunder (30-22, 19-7 home)

vs.

New Orleans Pelicans (27-23, 13-12 away

Friday, Feb. 2 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 5-point favorite. The over/under is 223½.
Online Stream: FS OK | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Pelicans: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Oklahoma City is coming fresh off a heartbreaker in Denver last night, a 127-124 loss of a Gary Harris three-pointer over the outstretched arm’s of Russell Westbrook sent Oklahoma City down with back-to-back losses.
  • The New Orleans Pelicans may only have 10 players tonight available after all the trades, that includes both two-way contracts.
  • The Pelicans own the season series against the Thunder so far, a single 114-107 loss on Nov. 20.

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 27-23 on the season, seventh in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Pelicans are 7-3.
  • Last week the season changed for the Pelicans. They lost DeMarcus Cousins to an Achilles injury. He’s out for the remainder of the season.
  • In their previous game, the Pelicans lost 114-103 to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
  • All-time against the Pelicans, the Oklahoma City Thunder are 29-22.
  • When the Thunder and the Pelicans throw down at the Peake, Oklahoma City is 12-5.
  • Oklahoma City has won four straight home games against the Pelicans. Their last loss came on Feb. 6, 2015, the infamous Anthony Davis buzzer beater.
  • The Thunder are 7-3 in their last 10 games against New Orleans.
  • That includes a 114-107 loss on Nov. 20 in New Orleans earlier this season.
  • The Pelicans haven’t won more than two games in a season against Oklahoma City since the injury plagued season of 2014-15.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Nikola Mirotic (coach’s decision) is out.
    Frank Jackson (foot) is out.
    DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) is out.
    Alexis Ajinca (knee) is out.
    Solomon Hill (hamstring) 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).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (25 points) vs. NOLA occurred during an 105-80 loss on Nov. 21, 2008.

INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.

NEXT UP

  • Oklahoma City hosts the Lakers on a Sunday matinee at 1 p.m. before traveling to Golden State on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

WHAT’S IN A PELICANS NAME

  • Soon after Tom Benson purchased the New Orleans Hornets in 2012, the team announced they were going to change their name.
  • According to Yahoo’s Marc J. Spears, they “considered the nicknames Krewe (groups of costumed paraders in the annual Mardi Gras carnival in New Orleans) and Brass,”
  • New Orleans settled on Pelicans—after the brown pelican, Louisiana’s state bird.



Three Keys to the Game

Limit Threes

Over their last five games, the Oklahoma City Thunder are allowing opponents to shoot 38.1 percent from the three-point line, which is seventh worst in the Association. Over the same span, the Pelicans are hitting 35 percent of their threes. So, Oklahoma City has to find a way to continue and limit the Pelicans from deep tonight.

Bench

Oklahoma City’s bench ranks 28th in the NBA in points contributed per game. They’re averaging 24.7 points per game. With Raymond Felton playing well lately, the Thunder have benefited. Felton and Co. have been a large part of the winning streak. Their ability to evaporate deficits or extend leads has been wonderful. Now that Roberson is out, the Thunder need someone on the bench to step up who hasn’t been playing and produce.

Rebound

The Oklahoma City are 25-7 when they are tied or beat their opponents in rebounding. The Pelicans are 21-5 when they out rebound their opponent. Who ever wins the rebounding battle, probably wins the game.

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.