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06.03.2019 07:07
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two years ago, there wasnt a player in the NBA with a bigger upside than Anthony Davis.The 2012 top overall pick was being compared to Steph Curry, LeBron James and Kevin Durant as players with whom to start a franchise.After an injury-riddled 2015-16 campaign, Davis is back to playing at an MVP-caliber level. He is leads the NBA in scoring at 31.5 points and in blocks with 2.68 rejections per game. Davis also is in the top 10 in rebounding at 10.9.When the Pelicans (7-13) face off with the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-8) on Sunday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, it will be a battle of the leagues top two scorers. Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is slightly behind Davis at 31.2 ppg.Unfortunately for coach Alvin Gentry, the rest of Pelicans are not matching the pace Davis has set. That includes 2016 first-round pick Buddy Hield.When the Pelicans pay a visit to Oklahoma City, it will be Hields first basketball game back in the state since he led the Oklahoma Sooners to the Final Four last season. He is looking forward to playing in front of his former hometown crowd.Its going to be fun. A college atmosphere, Hield told Im going to have fun and when I get in, stay locked in and try to help my team get a win.However, Hield is still trying to figure out the pro game. Through 20 games, he is averaging less than seven points and only shooting only 23.7 percent from 3-point range.These days, there is no guarantee Hield will even get into the game.Obviously if the situation is right, I want to try to play him in Oklahoma, Gentry told They deserve to see him play. Thats where his whole fan base and the support hes gotten over the years has been. As a coach, you want to be able to reward guys in situations like that, to put him in a situation where he can play in the game.The Pelicans now face a rested Oklahoma City squad that hasnt played since beating Washington in overtime Wednesday. And while its been Westbrooks four straight triple doubles that have gotten most of the headlines, the improved play of Jerami Grant has really been a key to the Thunders four-game win streak.Coming off the bench, Grants ability to play defense on a variety of positions has helped strengthen what had been a major weakness.I dont think people understand how hard his transition coming here has been because hes had to learn a position at the four, a position at the three and on defense, Thunder coach Billy Donovan told Thats hard, especially in pick and roll coverage. Sometimes hes switching and sometimes hes in normal coverage, His IQ has helped him with the adjustment.Like every front line player for the Thunder, Grant will see time guarding Davis. Because he can score from all over the court, it is going to put tremendous pressure on Oklahoma Citys defense to keep him from putting up big numbers on both ends of the court.Its a little bit of everything, Anthony Morrow said of the Thunder defense. Overall its just guys paying attention to detail and just sticking with the process overall. Every game is different, but we understand that when were on the same page, everybody is working towards that same goal defensively and the defense is on a string, thats when we know were at our best. Yeezy 350 China . -- Bryant McKinnie came out of his stance and lowered his shoulder into a practice squad player, causing a crisp thud to reverberate in the Miami Dolphins practice bubble. Cheap Yeezy 350 .C. -- Manny Malhotra had two goals and an assist, leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. . Despite the cost, effort and an improved steroid test, its possible that very few -- if any -- positives will be detected, Dr. Richard Budgett told The Associated Press in an interview. "We just dont know what the results from Torino will be," Budgett said. Cheap Yeezy 350 Wholesale . The mixed zone is not a place to make friends. Yeezy 350 Authentic . Barcelona also left injured defenders Carles Puyol, Javier Mascherano and Jordi Alba out of its squad for the trip to Glasgow. That means that Marc Bartra will probably start again in the centre of the defence alongside Gerard Pique. BOULDER, Colo. -- Senior Xavier Johnson turned the page on an injury that sidelined him all of last season and helped Colorado get this season off to a good start in the process.Johnson had six points and seven rebounds in Colorados 90-53 win over Sacramento State on Friday night, a solid showing in his first game since tearing his left Achilles tendon in a preseason practice last year.Xavier has had a long road, a long recovery, Colorado coach Tad Boyle said. It was a tough injury, so it was good to have him back. I thought he rebounded the ball well for us defensively. Offensively, I think hes got to get a few more and thats something we continue to encourage and challenge him to do. And I think Xavier is playing really unselfishly.The crowd at the Coors Events Center welcomed Johnson back with a pregame standing ovation.It was good. It was awesome, Johnson said. I am blessed to be back on the court. I cant take anything for granted, so this feels awesome.Dominique Collier added 12 points, all on 3-pointers, and Josh Fortune scored 11 for Colorado, which has won its last nine openers at home.Nick Hornsby had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Sacramento State, which has dropped its only two meetings with Colorado. The Hornets lost their first meeting against Colorado 80-56 in 1994.Sacramento State shot 20.6 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 42-19 at halftime. Colorado built on its lead early in the second, including a stretch of three consecutive 3-pointers -- two by Collier -- as the Buffaloes opened a 55-28 lead with 14:55 to play.We got off to a bad start, couldnt score, Sacramento State coach Brian Katz said. We played pretty good `DD and made it tough for them.dddddddddddd Its almost like when we got down, we couldnt score and we broke down defensively.Theyre easily the best team well play all year, not even close. They did a great job here.Ten of 12 Colorado players who played scored.BIG PICTURE:Sacramento State: The Hornets returned four starters from last seasons team but they struggled with their shooting accuracy throughout the night. Center Eric Stuteville epitomized the teams struggles, missing his first five shots before finally hitting a layup with under five minutes remaining. Though the Hornets had won four of their previous five season openers, their long-term history is pretty rough. They dropped to 8-18 in openers since becoming a Division I program in 1991-92.Colorado: The Buffaloes possess an experienced corps of nine letter winners from last seasons 22-win team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The opener also provided an encouraging glimpse of newcomers Derrick White and Deleon Brown, who both could play prominent roles. White, who was in the starting lineup in his Colorado debut, sat out last season after transferring from University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he was a standout for three seasons. Brown, a 6-foot-4 guard, helped Brewster Academy reach the quarterfinals of the National Prep School Championships last season.UP NEXTSacramento State: Continues its season-opening road trip with a visit to Nebraska on Sunday night.Colorado: Plays Seattle on Monday as part of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center in New York. ' ' '

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