NBA – Playoffs: After the Timberwolves, another franchise makes a swipe (4-0)

It was already almost done but the Oklahoma City Thunder finished the job this Monday evening. Mark Daigneault’s men beat the New Orleans Pelicans 97-89, obtaining a fourth victory in as many games played in these playoffs. Now, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and others are waiting for the name of their opponent in the conference semi-finals. It will be either the Dallas Mavericks or the Los Angeles Clippers (2-2).

It was without frills that the Thunder played the Pelicans in these playoffs, winning 4-0 and thus reaching the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2016. OKC controlled the first three games of the series before a slightly more contested match 4. Not only is this Oklahoma City’s first playoff victory since the era Kevin Durant et Russell Westbrookbut this is only the second swipe in franchise history, the other dating back to 2012 when the Thunder reached the NBA Finals.

NO believed they could win Game 4

As for the Pelicans, this is the first time they have been swept in such a manner since 2015. They still believed they could turn things around when they entered the fourth quarter of Game 4 with a point lead – a first in four games for NO – before pushing their domination to seven points. But it was at this precise moment that OKC decided to finish the job by immediately responding with an 8-0 then an 18-2 orchestrated by Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams et Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

A breathtaking end to the match

Eventually, SGA led Oklahoma City with 24 points and nine rebounds in the victory. Williams had 24 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and eight rebounds. Giddey finished with 14 points and made all four of his 3-pointers in the final 12-minute period. The Pelicans also experienced offensive difficulties for a large part of the evening while Zion Williamson — who injured his hamstring in Game 1 and has been sidelined since — was watching it all from the bench.

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