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Surging Thunder Aim to Extend Win Streak Against the Pelicans

 Surging Thunder Aim to Extend Win Streak Against the Pelicans




In a Western Conference showdown, the Oklahoma City Thunder (31-13) are set to face the New Orleans Pelicans (26-18) in New Orleans on Friday night. The Thunder, riding high on a four-game win streak and currently holding the top spot in the Western Conference, will look to continue their impressive run against the Pelicans, who have a strong defensive reputation and sit sixth in the conference.


The New Orleans Pelicans, with an 18-16 record in conference matchups, boast the fourth-best team defense in the Western Conference, limiting opponents to just 112.5 points per game on 46.1% shooting. Led by star forward Brandon Ingram, who averages 21.7 points and 5.6 assists, the Pelicans have found success in both ends of the floor. CJ McCollum has been a valuable contributor, averaging 18.3 points over the last 10 games.


The Thunder, on the other hand, have been on a remarkable run, winning their last four games. With a 31-13 record, they lead the Western Conference. Chet Holmgren, the impressive rookie, has played a key role, contributing 17.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the offensive catalyst, averaging 30.0 points over the last 10 games.


In terms of team statistics, the Pelicans average 117.5 points per game, slightly higher than the 113.6 points conceded by the Thunder. However, the Thunder have been prolific from beyond the arc, making an average of 13.1 three-pointers per game this season, adding an extra dimension to their offensive arsenal.


This matchup marks the second meeting between the two teams this season. In their previous encounter on November 1, the Pelicans emerged victorious with a 110-106 win. CJ McCollum led the Pelicans with 29 points, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander paced the Thunder with 20 points. The Thunder will be looking for redemption in this rematch.


Both teams have been in good form lately. The Pelicans have a 6-4 record in their last 10 games, averaging 123.1 points per game and displaying a well-rounded game on both ends of the court. The Thunder, with an 8-2 record in their last 10 games, have been exceptional, averaging 122.4 points and showcasing their defensive prowess.


In terms of injuries, the Pelicans will be without Matt Ryan, who is sidelined due to a calf injury. The Thunder will miss Olivier Sarr, who is out with a hip injury.


As the surging Thunder aim to extend their win streak and the Pelicans look to defend their home court, basketball enthusiasts can anticipate an exciting clash between two competitive Western Conference teams. The battle between the Thunder's offensive firepower and the Pelicans' stout defense will likely be a key factor in determining the outcome of this intriguing matchup in New Orleans.

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