Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey (3) blocks the shot of New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) during the first half of an NBA basketball play-in tournament game in New Orleans, Wednesday, April 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

OKC Thunder Strikes Down New Orleans Pelicans 123-118

The OKC Thunder took home a 123-118 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night. With this win, the Thunder extended its season in the Play-In Tournament.

Thunder Strikes in New Orleans

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was a strong player last night, despite not being a household name yet. Gilgeous-Alexander made the All-Star team for the first time this year. However, because OKC is in a small market, his exposure has been quite limited. During Wednesday’s game, he finished with 32 points and 50% on shooting.

In addition to Gilgeous-Alexander’s stellar performance, teammate Josh Giddey contributed some of his own flare. Giddey closed the game with an almost triple-double for OKC. Giddey recorded 31 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

During the game, Luguentz Dort was 4-of-8 from three-point range, three of which came in the first quarter. By halftime, the Thunder trailed only by six points, but Giddey and Dort contributed to keeping OKC’s offense strong.

Down Go the Pelicans

The Pelicans struggled quite a bit due to the absence of Zion Williamson. The Pelicans could have highly benefited the game with Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum‘s high scoring rate. Even though Ingram successfully dropped 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds of his own, McCollum struggled to keep up. As a result, this negatively impacted the Pelican’s final score of the game.

Ingram heated up the game when he dropped a three-pointer with four seconds left to cut OKC’s lead. With that, Ingram had outscored Dort by three points.

Eastern Conference

  • Tuesday: Hawks 116 – Heat 105 (Hawks clinch No. 7 seed to face No. 2 Boston Celtics)
  • Wednesday: Bulls 109 – Raptors 105 (Bulls advance to play Heat for No. 8 seed)
  • Friday: Bulls at Heat, 6 p.m. (TNT)

Western Conference

  • Tuesday: L.A. Lakers 108 – Timberwolves 102, OT (Lakers clinch No. 7 seed to face No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies)
  • Wednesday: Thunder 123 – Pelicans 118 (Thunder advance to play Timberwolves for No. 8 seed)
  • Friday: Thunder at Timberwolves, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

(Schedule courtesy of: Yahoo! Sports)

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