Thunder at Pelicans in NBA playoff game on Saturday

The Associated Press - April 27, 2024 7:46 am

By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer

There’s a quadrupleheader of playoff games in the NBA on Saturday — Cleveland at Orlando, Oklahoma City at New Orleans, Boston at Miami, and then the first possible elimination game of this opening round when Denver takes a 3-0 series lead into L.A. to try and sweep the Lakers for a second straight season.

The top-seeded Thunder can put the Pelicans in a 3-0 hole with a win in New Orleans on Saturday, so a sweep is still possible there.

Oklahoma City leads the series 2-0. Game 3 will play at 3:30 p.m. EDT, 2:30 Central, on TNT.

— NEED TO KNOW: The Thunder are seeking their first 3-0 series lead since Round 1 of the 2013 playoffs against Houston. Since the start of the 2014 playoffs, No. 1 seeds in the Western Conference are 38-9 against No. 8 seeds and the Thunder are coming off a 32-point win in Game 2. Yet there’s a reason for New Orleans to have hope — the Thunder were 1-3 in their last four road regular season games.

— KEEP AN EYE ON: The Pelicans’ 3-point shooting. Trey Murphy III and Herb Jones are a combined 13 for 33 from deep in this series. The rest of the Pelicans are a combined 5 for 32.

— INJURY WATCH: New Orleans is still without Zion Williamson (hamstring).

— PRESSURE IS ON: New Orleans. The Thunder have been loose all season and that won’t change with a 2-0 series lead. The Pelicans have to hit back on Saturday, or else.


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