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Reply To: NBA • Thursday Service Plays • 2/25/16

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Preview: Oklahoma City At New Orleans

When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, February 25, 2016
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans All-Star forward Anthony Davis suffered a scoring dropoff of 50 points in his last game and looks to regain his form when the Pelicans host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Davis scored an NBA season-high 59 points against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday and then was swarmed by Washington defenders and held to nine points in Tuesday’s 109-89 loss.

Davis did collect 20 rebounds for the second straight game but was just 3-of-9 shooting as the Wizards made sure he couldn’t operate offensively. “I think they decided to double-team me, deny me the ball a lot,” Davis told reporters. “We talked about it, we knew they were going to try and do that, and we needed to have other guys play off of that to free me up a bit. They did a good job defensively.” Oklahoma City All-Star guard Russell Westbrook has torched the Pelicans twice this season and is averaging 33 points, nine rebounds, nine assists in the Thunder’s two victories. Westbrook had 24 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds as Oklahoma City finished a four-game season sweep of Dallas with a 116-103 victory Wednesday.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, FSN Oklahoma

ABOUT THE THUNDER (41-16): Oklahoma City felt the Dallas game was highly important after losing back-to-back contests, including a 115-92 drubbing by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. “We didn’t want to lose three in a row,” Thunder forward Kevin Durant said afterward. “We definitely don’t like losing games. The guys came out and played with a sense of urgency. We moved the ball well and the guys didn’t force anything.” Durant scored 24 points and has scored 20 or more points in 42 consecutive games.

ABOUT THE PELICANS (22-34): Davis missed the first meeting with the Thunder because of an injury and scored 23 in the second — a 121-95 loss in Oklahoma City on Feb. 11. Coach Alvin Gentry hopes his team will adjust better the next time a team takes Davis completely out of a game like the Wizards did. “I think what we have to do is create space, but he has to be a facilitator more than anything,” Gentry told reporters. “If we are getting easy basket after easy basket, then we have to make them adjust. We never really got to that point where we made them adjust. They were going to make other guys beat us, which makes total sense.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Thunder have averaged 115.5 points while winning both of this season’s meetings.

2. New Orleans C Omer Asik (ankle) will miss his second straight game and isn’t expected back until early March.

3. Oklahoma City SG Andre Roberson (knee) had four points in 21 minutes against Dallas after missing the previous nine games.

PREDICTION: Thunder 118, Pelicans 111