Williamson scores 27 as Pelicans top Thunder 109-95


OKLAHOMA CITY — Zion Williamson scored 27 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 109-95 on Thursday night.

Williamson also had eight rebounds and six assists. Brandon Ingram added 24 points for New Orleans.

The Pelicans are in the hunt for the No. 10 spot in the Western Conference and a berth in the play-in tournament. They had lost six of eight and were coming off a 114-112 loss to Denver on Wednesday.

Lu Dort scored 17 points, Theo Maledon added 16 and Moses Brown grabbed 18 rebounds for the Thunder. Oklahoma City was coming off a win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday that snapped a Thunder record-tying 14-game losing streak.

The Pelicans closed the first half on a 19-3 run to take a 60-43 lead. Williamson scored 16 points and Ingram added 15 in the first half to help New Orleans shoot 51%.

The Pelicans took a 79-68 lead into the fourth quarter.

New Orleans took full control in the early minutes of the fourth quarter. Jaxson Hayes’ fast-break dunk put the Pelicans up 90-73. The Thunder got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.


Pelicans: Former Thunder center Steven Adams sat out with a sprained right foot. Willy Hernangomez took Adams’ place in the starting lineup and had 13 points and 10 rebounds … Won despite making just 5 of 29 3-pointers.

Thunder: Forward Gabriel Deck played for the first time since the Thunder signed him. He had two points, two assists and two rebounds in 15 minutes. … Guard Charlie Brown Jr. had two points and two rebounds in nine minutes.


Pelicans: Visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.

Thunder: Host the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports.

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