If you're going to take away a positive note from a loss, its obvious that the New Orleans Pelicans can hang with the #1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder.

Sunday night, the Pelicans had their first non Play-In Playoff game of the 2024 NBA Playoffs. They were in Oklahoma City to take on the top-seeded Thunder, and took the lead late...but couldn't hold on. They ended up losing the game by a final of 94-92.

New Orleans Pelicans v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Pels took a 90-88 lead with less than 3 minutes left in the game, but couldn't hold on in the final minutes on the Thunder's home court. But it did prove that the Pels can play with this team all the way down to the final minutes.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led all scorers with 28 points in the game. His teammate Jalen Williams added 19 points, while Thunder center Chet Homgren had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

For the Pelicans, Trey Murphy led the scoring with 21 points, and CJ McCollum had 20 points. Pelicans center Jonas Valaciunas has an impressive double-double, with 13 points and a game-leading 20 rebounds. Pelicans star Brandon Ingram was held to just 12 points in the game.

The Pelicans were playing without superstar Zion Williamson, who was hurt after scoring 40 points in the Play-In game. Zion suffered a "hamstring strain" late in that game, which isn't the type of injury that would normally end someone's season. However, the fact that this is the playoffs, and 4 games could be the rest of your season, Zion might be done for the year. If the Pelicans can win a series or two without him, there's a chance he could return. But its probably unlikely Zion will get on the court against the Thunder.

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