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Game 38: Elfrid Payton back in starting lineup for Pelicans, Timberwolves without Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague

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And Nikola Mirotic is nearing a return to action.

Sacramento Kings v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

For just the sixth time this season, Elfrid Payton will appear in a game for the New Orleans Pelicans. Yes, that’s a depressing thought considering we’re nearly half way through the regular season schedule, but hey, he’s back!

According to Alvin Gentry, Payton will jump right into the starting lineup, but don’t expect him to carry a full load immediately.

The New Orleans head coach also mentioned to pregame media that Nikola Mirotic is getting close to a return.

As for the Timberwolves, they’ll be without their top two options at point guard: Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose.

Tyus Jones will draw the start at the one for Minnesota. He started against the Miami Heat and his 12 points, four rebounds, five assists and five steals helped propel the Timberwolves to a victory on the road.

For more on today’s matchup, please be sure to read Preston’s preview here.

Also, who doesn’t like trade scenarios? Here’s one featuring a Julius Randle for Otto Porter Jr. exchange.

Geaux Pels and be sure to have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve!!!

Where To Watch

What: New Orleans Pelicans vs Minnesota Timberwolves

Where: Smoothie King Center

When: Monday, December 31, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Central

How: FSNO, 99.5 FM WRNO