The Pelicans tried as hard as they could to hang. They even had the score tied 17-all with 4:17 to play in the first. Unfortunately for them, that’s when the bottom fell out.
A 22-8 run pushed the Thunder lead to 14 (39-25), and they never looked back. The Pelicans never did shave the Thunder lead into single-digits after that, and the Thunder took a 116-94 victory that jumps their record to 58-21, while dropping the Pelicans to an abysmal 32-47.
Kevin Durant’s 27 points led all scorers to take the floor. Russell Westbrook came in as the #2 overall scorer with 24 points. Serge Ibaka had an impressive 16-point, 10-rebound double-double, while Reggie Jackson sank 11 points off of the Thunder bench.
Austin Rivers and Darius Miller tied for leading Pelicans scorer, as both finished with 18 points. Tyreke Evans dropped 13 before leaving the game with a bruised knee, and Alexis Ajinca and James Southerland combined for 22 points off of the Pelicans bench (Ajinca: 12, Southerland: 10).
At this point, one more win was still required before the Thunder locked in the #2 seed. My next postgame will take a look at the Pacers-Pelicans back-to-back, and we’ll see if they locked it in. Stay tuned.