An up-and-down first half of the season for the New Orleans Pelicans could end on the highest of highs on Thursday with a win over Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) dribbles against New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) at Smoothie King Center. In the Western Conference playoff picture, the team is tied for sixth, nine games behind the Lakers for the top spot, and stood 7.5 games clear of ninth-place Portland to stay in the playoff picture. Thunder centre Steven Adams capped his 11-point, 11-rebound, three-block night with a clutch jumper in the paint that made it 119-114. Defensively, OKC is allowing just 107.9 points per game while opponents are shooting 45.6 percent against them. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is leading Oklahoma City with 19.5 points plus 6.1 rebounds per game on the season.
But Gallinari scored the next five points to give the Thunder the lead for good. Terrance Ferguson, Mike Muscala, Nerlens Noel, Abdel Nader and Darius Bazley all have to contribute for the Thunder to have success.
The Pelicans are 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 home games and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as a home favorite.
Gallinari's basket put Oklahoma City ahead before Ball's 3-pointer gave New Orleans a 111-110 lead. The Pelicans have covered in all three wins as well. The New Orleans Pelicans are allowing 35.5 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 46.6 rebounds per game.
The Thunder led by eight points at halftime, but Williamson scored eight points as the Pelicans took a 76-75 lead. The Pelicans are really clicking on offense, scoring at least 124 in their last three games. Danilo Gallinari is the third double-digit scorer and Chris Paul is dishing 6.6 assists. Zion Williamson made his season debut against the Spurs on January 22 and has averaged 21 points and 7.7 boards since his return. The New Orleans Pelicans are shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc and 73.7 percent from the free throw line. He is questionable for the game tonight due to an ankle injury.