Pelicans’ season ends in 123-118 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder

Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram reacts to a first-half call during the play-in game against the...
Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram reacts to a first-half call during the play-in game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday (April 12) at the Smoothie King Center. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)(Matthew Hinton | AP)
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 11:32 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Pelicans’ season ended in disappointing fashion, as a 123-118 homecourt loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder ended their hopes to reach the NBA playoffs Wednesday night (April 12) at the Smoothie King Center.

New Orleans trailed by three points with 2.6 seconds left, but turned the ball over when Herb Jones’ inbound pass couldn’t be corralled by C.J. McCollum and went out of bounds on the left sideline.

Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was fouled and converted two free throws to provide the final margin. Gilgeous-Alexander led all scorers with 32 points.

New Orleans had a one-point lead inside the final 30 seconds of the game, but a driving layup by Gilgeous-Alexander put the Thunder ahead to stay, 115-114, with 28 clicks remaining.

The Pelicans, playing again without forward Zion Williamson, were led by 30 points from Brandon Ingram and 21 by Trey Murphy III.

Williamson injured a hamstring Jan. 2 and never suited up for the Pelicans again as they finished the regular season 42-40 and crashed out of the play-in tournament.

The winners advance to face the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Friday night. The winners of that play-in game claim the eighth and final postseason spot and will face the top-seeded Denver Nuggets in the first round of the NBA’s Western Conference playoffs.

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