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Nance betting on Pels to beat Thunder, but is 'no Jontay Porter'

Joshua Gateley / Getty Images Sport / Getty

New Orleans Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. feels extremely confident about his team's chances against the No. 1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder but needed to throw in a caveat after this week's NBA news.

"You don't get the No. 1 seed by accident. ... They got (four) guys up for major awards," Nance said after his team's 105-98 play-in victory over the Sacramento Kings, according to OKC Thunder Wire's Clemente Almanza.

"We got a ton of respect for them, but, respectfully, I'm betting on the Pels."

He quickly clarified he's not placing any literal bets: "No Jontay Porter."

Nance's wisecrack comes days after the NBA banned Porter, a Toronto Raptors two-way forward, for violating the league's betting rules. He was found to have both wagered on NBA games himself and limited his participation in contests for the gain of his confidants.

The Pelicans played the Thunder three times in the regular season, going 1-2, with their one win coming in the campaign's opening days. Despite finishing the regular season as the No. 7 seed, New Orleans only finished eight games behind Oklahoma City.

Nance will likely need to play a big role if the Pelicans are going to pull off the upset, as fellow frontcourt member Zion Williamson is sidelined with a hamstring injury.

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