FOR one quarter, the Oklahoma City Thunder showed the potential of its new superstar trio before the bench led the way in beating the New Orleans Pelicans, 102-91, on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) in NBA preseason action.
Russell Westbrook made his preseason debut to join new star teammates Paul George and Carmelo Anthony on the court, and gave a glimpse of what they can do together in the first quarter that the Thunder led, 28-26.
Westbrook then sat after seeing just 10 minutes as George carried the fight for OKC to build a 15-point lead late in the second quarter.
Jrue Holiday led a Pelicans rally to tie the game midway through the third period, but as both teams rested their stars in the fourth, the OKC bench sparked a 19-4 run in the fourth to pull away for good.
George finished with a game-high 25 points in 27 minutes as the Thunder bagged its first preseason win after opening with a loss. Westbrook and Anthony each scored nine points for OKC.
Anthony Davis led the Pelicans, 0-2 in the preseason, with 14 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes. DeMarcus Cousins added 13 markers in 14 minutes.