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Pelicans Move into 8th in Western Conference

The New Orleans Pelicans’ playoff hopes were on life support just two weeks ago when a four-game losing streak had them at 37-34 and 3½ games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 8 seed on March 25. But now the Pelicans are the proud owners of that eighth-seed after their impressive 103-100 victory over the top-seeded Golden State Warriors and the Thunder’s ugly 113-88 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.

New Orleans looked to be in some trouble after one half, falling behind by 12 points at the break. However, instead of falling victim to the Warriors’ usual third-quarter knockout punch, the Pelicans exploded to the tune of 36 points in the frame to take a one-point lead into the fourth quarter.

To the surprise of nobody, it was Anthony Davis who stepped up, scoring 13 of his game-high 29 points in the third quarter. Davis added 10 rebounds and four blocks to his 29 points.

The game was still hanging in the balance throughout the fourth quarter, and Stephen Curry had several chances to deliver daggers. Instead, Curry missed a potential go-ahead floater in the final minute and then a potential game-tying three at the buzzer:

Meanwhile, the Thunder were destroyed once again from the start against San Antonio. Russell Westbrook‘s magic has apparently run out after his insane run, as he appears to be wearing down from the enormous burden placed on him. Oklahoma City has lost four games in a row and six of seven.

So, the Pelicans are now 42-35, a half-game ahead of the 42-36 Thunder. Of course, it must be noted that New Orleans owns the tiebreaker, so it’s basically a 1½ game lead. The Pelicans go on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, while Oklahoma City doesn’t play again until Friday against the Sacramento Kings.

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