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NBA Preview: New Orleans Pelicans aim to push winning streak to three against Cleveland Cavaliers

New Orleans gets their second crack at the league-worst Cleveland Cavaliers.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans are not dead...yet.

Winners of consecutive games for the first time since the middle of November, New Orleans is inching closer back to .500. To get win number 20 and their third straight victory, New Orleans takes aim at the team that started this much needed pseudo-win streak the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It’s hard to say the Pelicans “righted the ship” Saturday night in Cleveland. Dispatching the league’s worst team fully embracing the tank is mandatory after all. But it would be equally hard to say that no other team needed a 35-point win more than these very same Pelicans.

It was a rather ho hum night in Cleveland when the Pelicans put away the Cavaliers. Anthony Davis was his typical stellar self with yet another 20-10 night; Jrue Holiday was excellent on both ends of the court; and the reserves chipped in with strong efforts led by Frank Jackson, Jahlil Okafor and Darius Miller.

Jen Hale reported that Nikola Mirotic could return to the Pelicans in this game, but he’s listed as doubtful for tonight’s game. He is reportedly inching closer to a return, but maybe not quite close enough.

It’s imperative that the Pelicans continue to play the winning basketball we’ve seen the past two games because looming for New Orleans is a five-game road trip, highlighted by games against the Clippers, Warriors and Trailblazers. It may not be a “must-win” game for New Orleans, but it’s definitely a “they better” win kind of game.

New Orleans and Cleveland are in a help me help you situation. The Pelicans are desperate to get back in the playoff picture while the Cavaliers are trying equally as hard to stay at the bottom of the standings and have a crack at a top pick in this summer’s draft. The Pelicans need to take care of business because, sadly, there aren’t too many gimme games in New Orleans’ immediate future.

Where To Watch

What: New Orleans Pelicans vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

When: Wednesday, January 9, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Central