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Pelicans-Thunder Preview

Nov 18, 2015 - 6:26 AM Russell Westbrook went off on New Orleans twice in three days the last times they met, but Oklahoma City wound up with little to show for it in the season series, and the Pelicans were the team that went on to the postseason.

Westbrook will again be the focus Wednesday night at home with Kevin Durant still out and Anthony Davis succumbing to injury in the Pelicans' first game of a back-to-back set.

Westbrook scored 45 points in a 102-91 road win Feb. 4 and 48 in a 116-113 home loss two days later while New Orleans took three of four season meetings.

The Pelicans have won four of five against the Thunder, but Davis has been a big part of that with an average of 31.8 points on 59.3 percent shooting with 10.2 rebounds last season - including 41 points Feb. 6.

He was lost to a left shoulder injury in Tuesday's 115-98 home loss to Denver, adding to the team's already daunting list of health problems. Davis had just returned one game earlier from a two-game absence caused by a hip injury.

"I didn't see the injury so I can't tell you his status," coach Alvin Gentry told the team's official website. "I'm not sure how he injured his shoulder, we'll have to take a look at the tape and see what happened. We will have to see how he's feeling and if he can even play tomorrow against Oklahoma City."

Omer Asik was a late scratch because of a stomach illness, so 6-foot-8 Dante Cunningham started at center. The Pelicans also were without Tyreke Evans (right knee), Quincy Pondexter (left knee), Norris Cole (left ankle) and Kendrick Perkins (pectoral injury), all of which have been out long term.

Jrue Holiday had 10 points in 22 minutes, so he's not expected to play because of playing-time restrictions while working his way back from a right shin injury that has caused him to miss much of the past two seasons.

The Pelicans (1-10) have lost four straight, and if rebounding wasn't already a concern - they've been outrebounded by a 44.0-36.3 average on the skid - it is now.

New Orleans got 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting from Ryan Anderson, who figures to again step in if Davis misses time.

On the road, though, he might need to do a whole lot more to make it matter. The Pelicans are 0-6 away from New Orleans for easily their worst road start, and the losses have come by an average of 13.0 points.

The Thunder (6-5) fell 122-114 in Memphis on Monday despite Westbrook's 40 points on 13-of-19 shooting with 14 assists. He also matched a season high with eight turnovers.

"Unfortunately it didn't work out for the best, but we'll get back to work and get ready for Wednesday," Westbrook told the team's official website.

They've dropped two straight after Durant sat out his third in a row with a hamstring strain, and Westbrook has averaged 6.0 turnovers along with 29.3 points, 10.0 assists and 8.3 rebounds.

Coach Billy Donovan was happier with the offensive effort after Boston held Oklahoma City to 85 points the night before. The Pelicans shot 38.5 percent and 28.0 from 3-point range in the first two without Durant before a 50.6 overall mark and 10-of-24 effort from beyond the arc versus the Grizzlies.

"We did a much better job," Donovan said. "We had better ball movement. We got it from one side to the other. We had some shots and we did not make that was the right look and the right pass. We were improved in that area."