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

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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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