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Game Thread: With Lonzo Ball out, Pelicans require even more special effort to beat Nuggets

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The matchup in Denver just got tougher for a New Orleans team already sliding in the standings

Boston Celtics v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Pelicans will face the Denver Nuggets in a Sunday matinee tip-off, and while all teams always has their hands full with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray, New Orleans will be without Lonzo Ball while also be handicapped by a declining trend of performances.

Since February’s four-game win streak, the Pelicans have posted a 6-12 record. In addition, after starting the season 6-5 in clutch games, New Orleans has proceeded to win just two of their last nine games that have been within five points or less during the last five minutes of regulation.

New Orleans is fading fast in the Western Conference standings and it’s unclear how realistic it is to have hope for improvement with this roster. Seemingly all season the offense has been quite good, the defense really bad and now finishing games victorious is a consistent issue.

Sigh.

For more on today’s matchup, please give Travis’ preview a read.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (17-24) at Denver Nuggets (25-16)

When: March 21, 2:00 p.m. Central

Where to watch: FSNOLA

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.