The New Orleans Pelicans look to halt a six-game losing streak when they host the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. New Orleans is waiting on projected impact rookie Zion Williamson (knee surgery) to make his NBA debut and the club is suffering in the meantime.
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The Pelicans were drubbed 118-97 by the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday and have allowed an average of 118.3 points during the slide. New Orleans has never found its stride during the absence of Williamson though small forward Brandon Ingram has emerged as a go-to player and is averaging 25.4 points per game. Phoenix has dropped seven of its last nine games with the troubles continuing with Wednesday's 128-114 road loss against the Orlando Magic. The Suns have given up least 120 points in seven of their past nine setbacks.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS Arizona (Phoenix), FS New Orleans
ABOUT THE SUNS (9-11): Star guard Devin Booker tallied just 17 points against the Magic and was limited to 30 minutes after taking a hard fall in the opening quarter and injuring his back. Booker returned later in the half but never found his mark while scoring fewer than 20 points for the fourth time in the past seven games. Forward Frank Kamisnky stood out against Orlando with a season-best 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting and is averaging 17.5 points over the past two games.
ABOUT THE PELICANS (6-15): Coach Alvin Gentry said a series of injuries have prevented New Orleans from establishing a firm rotation and he noted that the team can get there once Williamson is healthy later this month. "At some stage we have to get to the point where (every player) has the feeling that I'm going to go in and play these (amount of) minutes," Gentry told reporters. "Obviously, that changes if someone is going great (within a specific game) or there if foul trouble, but we have to get to that." Ingram scored 24 points against Dallas and has reached 20 or more in each of his last 11 appearances.
1. Ingram scored 28 points as the Pelicans registered a 124-121 road win over the Suns on Nov. 21 with SF Kelly Oubre Jr. leading Phoenix with 25 points.
2. New Orleans C Derrick Favors (mother's death) and F-G Kenrich Williams (birth of a child) are both listed as questionable.
3. Phoenix C Aron Baynes (calf) will likely miss his third straight game.