After tying the longest losing streak in the history of the franchise at 14, the Oklahoma City Thunder ended their skid on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics. With morale high, they'll be able to carry their momentum into Thursday's game against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. Although they're major underdogs in this matchup, it's certainly a game OKC will have every opportunity to win.
The Thunder enter the day as 9-point underdogs to the Pelicans and the total over/under is 229 points.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
The Pelicans are extremely efficient on offense, shooting 48.2 percent from the floor, which is the sixth-best in the NBA. This is largely due to Williamson, who rarely misses around the rim and is a top-ten player in the league in terms of field goal percentage.
On the offensive glass, New Orleans leads the league with 11.6 per contest on the back of former Thunder Steven Adams. This will be one of the first matchups in quite some time where OKC won't have an advantage on the boards. Thunder centers Moses Brown and Tony Bradley will have their hands full with the New Orleans bigs.
Lu Dort and Darius Bazley have been at the top of their games offensively late, both averaging over 20 points per game over the last two weeks. If both are healthy and able to play, Oklahoma City shouldn't have a problem keeping this game close. However, the continued turnover issues for the Thunder could once again hinder their success.
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Oklahoma City Thunder (21-41) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (27-35)
Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 8:00 PM CT
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Bally Sports Oklahoma, NBA League Pass, 98.1 FM The Sports Animal
OKC will be coming off of a rest day for Thursday's game while New Orleans will enter the matchup on the second night of a back-to-back. Nonetheless, it should be a solid matchup between two teams that are not projected to make the playoffs. The highly-anticipated NBA debut of Gabriel Deck for the Thunder could be a possibility against the Pelicans.