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Game Thread: Expect OKC’s preferred starting lineup to challenge New Orleans

The Thunder’s starting five is an interesting mix of talented young players and good veterans, but don’t overlook they’ve also been good early this season.

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

The Pelicans will look to close out the 2020 calendar year with a victory over the Thunder, but they’ll have to bring the effort.

OKC is expected to start Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, George Hill, Luguentz Dort, Darius Bazley and Al Horford. In general the Thunder have surprised many by their good play, but this five-man group has proven rather formidable, posting a +14.4 net rating in 45 minutes.

For the sake of comparison, New Orleans starting lineup of Lonzo Ball, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson and Steven Adams have a +0.8 net rating through 54 minutes — the 111-86 loss against the Suns really hammered that statistic back down to earth.

For more on today’s game, please give our preview a read.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (2-2) at OKC Thunder (1-2)

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

Where to watch: FSNO

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

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