Danilo Gallinari Leads the Thunder to 123-118 win in the Big Easy

Erik Gee

Just like last season, the Thunder went into the All-Star break after playing the Pelicans in New Orleans. Unlike last season the Thunder will go into the All-Star break with a win. With 30.4 seconds left, Danilo Gallinari stuck the dagger in New Orleans's heart with a mid-range two giving Oklahoma City a 121-115 lead.  

After a J.J. Redick three, Dennis Schroder would close it out with two free-throws making the final 123-118. The win ends a two-game losing streak and gives the Thunder a chance to breathe after grueling January, and a less than stellar four-game homestand. 

For the first time this season, Billy Donovan's team had a chance to see Zion Williamson up close, and he did not disappoint. Williamson scored 32 (a career-high, one game after scoring 31 )  in 31 minutes and was able to keep the Pelicans close all night. With 22 lead changes and 12 ties, the difference in this game was the Thunder's ability to score 24 points off 17 New Orleans turnovers. 

Gallinari not only iced the game; he leads all Thunder scores with 29 points. If you wanted to see more Mike Muscala you got it.  Muscala came in for Nerlens Noel after Noel played just 1:25 in the third. Muscala went for 8 points in 6:25, including going two for two from three. Noel, who had no personal fouls, would never come back in after leaving in the third quarter.  

Despite getting into some foul trouble, Steven Adams had one heck of a night. Adams had a double-double for the second straight game (11-11) Adams also nailed his first career three-pointer. A 58 foot shot as time was expiring in the fist-half. Want proof? Check out the tweet below. 

The Thunder finish the unofficial first half of the season 33-22 (remember Vegas said 30 wins total) and a game and a half out of the fifth seed in the western conference. The win is Oklahoma City's eighth straight on the road. Also worth noting Thunder goes 4-0 vs. New Orleans this year. 

Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will both head to Chicago for All-Star weekend, while the rest of the team will take the next week off before hosting the Nuggets on February 21st. Game time will be 7 pm on Fox Sports Oklahoma.  

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