Trans. Dec 6 9:20 ET (Dec 6 9:20 ET ) NEW ORLEANS -- For the Oklahoma City Thunder, sometimes it all happens in the blink of an eye. In their 109-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans Friday night -- the Thunder's ninth win in 10 games and ninth consecutive win over New Orleans -- the catalyst was Oklahoma City's microwave offense and lock-down defense in the second half. With both teams trading baskets late in the first half, New Orleans guard Tyreke Evans fired a bullet pass into the stands on a fast-break opportunity that would have broken a tie game. But the Pelicans' ninth turnover of the half instantly turned deadly.
Even without marquee attractions Derrick Rose and Anthony Davis — the two former No. 1 overall draft picks and Chicago natives were both sidelined with injuries, as the latter suffered a fractured left hand Sunday, missing his homecoming game for the second consecutive season — out of the lineup, Monday night’s game between the Bulls (7-9) and Pelicans (9-8) had plenty of entertainment value. A three-overtime affair in which neither team was willing to surrender finally ended with the Bulls, in their first game back at the United Center since leaving for the annual Circus Trip, falling, 131-128. As usual, especially recently, All-Star small forward Luol Deng’s (game-high 37 points, eight rebounds, seven assists in a team-high 55 minutes) all-around play led the Bulls, who also received early contributions from veteran floor general Kirk Hinrich (13 points, 11 assists) to lead them out of the gates. But despite solid team defense rendering the three-guard trio of starters Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon, along with early sub Tyreke Evans, relatively inefficient, the Pelicans held a slight advantage in the early going.
NEW YORK (AP) Once Anthony Davis went down, Ryan Anderson stepped up to keep the New York Knicks on their losing ways. Anderson made seven 3-pointers and scored 31 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame Davis' loss to a broken left hand to hand the Knicks their ninth straight loss, 103-99 on Sunday night. Tyreke Evans added 24 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, as the Pelicans sent the Knicks to their seventh straight home loss. The Pelicans, now 8-8, are last in the NBA's Southwest Division but would be in first place in the Atlantic.