(SportsNetwork.com) - The two teams just outside the playoff picture in the Western Conference will do battle Wednesday night when the Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Smoothie King Center to take on the New Orleans Pelicans in the first of a home-and-home series.
The two teams will meet Friday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
The Pelicans are in ninth place, just one game behind the Phoenix Suns, and own a two-game winning streak. The Thunder are three off the Suns' pace and two behind Wednesday's opponent.
New Orleans is 4-1 on its current homestand, which ends Wednesday. The only setback came against the Denver Nuggets one week ago and last time out, the Pelicans earned their signature victory of the season.
In the Big Easy, the Pelicans ended the Atlanta Hawks' 19-game winning streak Monday with a 115-100 triumph.
Anthony Davis made sure the streak would end, totaling 29 points and 13 rebounds. Eric Gordon scored 20 points in 28 minutes, while Tyreke Evans finished with 15 points, 12 assists and no turnovers for the Pelicans.
"It was an overall team effort," Gordon said. "Everyone contributed in major ways."
Atlanta was beaten at its own game, as the Pelicans earned a 52-32 rebounding advantage and managed easy looks offensively with good ball movement.
It was a 10-point game, 32-22, at the end of one, and Davis kept the momentum going with a putback slam over DeMarre Carroll early in the second. Davis netted 19 points in the opening half, which ended with New Orleans going on a 9-2 run that stretched its lead to 55-42 heading into the break.
The Hawks never seriously threatened in the second half.
The Thunder have been inconsistent of late. They've dropped four of their last six and all four setbacks came as the visitor.
OKC broke out of a two-game slide on Monday with a 104-97 home win over the Orlando Magic.
Russell Westbrook posted a triple-double of 25 points 14 assists and 11 rebounds. Dion Waiters picked up 24 points and Serge Ibaka added 16 with eight boards for the Thunder, who fell below .500 and played without Kevin Durant due to a lingering toe injury.
"We did a lot of good things tonight. We did a great job of moving the basketball and taking care of the ball," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said.
Oklahoma City kept Orlando at arm's length while taking a 61-50 lead into the break. The Thunder's lead ballooned to as many as 22 on an Ibaka triple that made the score 82-60 with 2:09 left in the third, and the Thunder were ahead 82-67 heading to the fourth.
The Pelicans won the season's first two matchups in December and have taken three in a row overall. OKC is 4-2 in its last six visits to New Orleans.