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Game 58: Jahlil Okafor, E’Twaun Moore return to the starting lineup against Orlando

Jah will start alongside AD. Elfrid Payton will not suit up, but is making progress towards returning soon.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans will face the Orlando Magic for the first time in this season, and it’s safe to say nobody expected these two teams to have precisely the same record after 57 games at 25-32.

Perhaps just as concerning, the Magic have given the Pelicans a slew of problems for more than the last five years despite the fact that Orlando hasn’t been in the playoffs since the 2011-12 season. That’s right, their postseason drought has lasted longer than Anthony Davis has been in New Orleans.

Since a matchup on March 4, 2013, the Pelicans have lost seven of eleven to the Magic. For the optimists, it’s worth mentioning that New Orleans has taken two of the last three contests from Orlando.

Speaking of the superstar who is mostly out the door, Davis will play tonight and start alongside Jahlil Okafor who makes his return. Elfrid Payton will be held out but is making slow and steady progress and should return soon, likely after the All-Star break. E’Twaun Moore will also earn his first start in two weeks, forcing both Frank Jackson and Darius Miller to the bench.

Pelicans’ starters: Jrue - Moore - Williams - AD - Okafor

Magic starters: Augustin - Fournier - Isaac - Gordon - Vucevic

For more on tonight’s matchup, please give Preston’s preview a read, and make some time for David’s piece on Gentry’s tenure in New Orleans and Chris’ “Oh it feels so good that Jayson Tatum winked in direction of the Pelicans” article!

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Let’s geaux, lottery balls, Pels!

Where To Watch

What: New Orleans Pelicans (25-32) vs Orlando Magic (25-32)

Where: Smoothie King Center

When: Tuesday, February 12th, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Central

How: FSNO, 99.5 FM WRNO