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In his first postseason as an NBA head coach, the Oklahoma City Thunder's Mark Daigneault shows no signs of shortening his rotation.

Daigneault has developed a reputation for continually tinkering with his player usage and going deep into the roster during the regular season.

In the Thunder's playoff opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, a 94-92 victory Sunday, Daigneault played 11 players. Nine of them played in the first quarter.

"I have great confidence with our team, they have great confidence in each other," Daigneault said. "There's probably a subtle pressure to cut it down arbitrarily, but they all played well."

Daigneault figures to continue to showcase his team's depth when they take on the Pelicans in Game 2 of their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

While the Thunder's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander made the late shots and Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren came up big offensively as well, the contributions came from well beyond the team's core.

Rookie Cason Wallace was part of Daigneault's closing lineup and frustrated the Pelicans' CJ McCollum in the final possession. First he had a deflection and then kept McCollum from getting a better look on his potential game-winner.

"I don't think our roster really drops off in a way that makes it obvious which seven or eight guys to play," Daigneault said. "It's Game 1. We've played like that all year."

The Thunder are looking to grab a 2-0 lead in a playoff series for the first time since a 2013 first-round series against the Houston Rockets when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were leading the charge.

"I think everybody's ready and mentally approaching the game with the mindset that they might play tonight regardless of where they sit on the bench," said Thunder guard Aaron Wiggins, who had a key three-point play in the fourth quarter of the opener.

Without Zion Williamson, New Orleans needs more production from forward Brandon Ingram, who had 12 points Sunday while going 5-of-17 from the floor.

"It's not about what we need to do to free B.I. up," Pelicans coach Willie Green said. "This is going to be playoff basketball. He's got to continue to play through it, have some gamesmanship out there, got to go to the free-throw line a bit more. This is what it's going to be. We're physical with them, they're physical with us and that's part of the game. That's part of playoff basketball."

Ingram was just 2-of-2 from the free-throw line in the opener after averaging 4.8 free-throw attempts per game in the regular season.

Williamson has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain and will be out again Wednesday, though he said a playoff return remains possible.

"That is definitely realistic. That is absolutely realistic," Williamson said Tuesday. "But I've got to pass tests, get back to baseline and hopefully I'll be out there."

The Pelicans shot just 38.5 percent overall in the opener. New Orleans had just three games in the regular season with a lower shooting percentage.

New Orleans was just 1-of-7 from the field in the final 3:30, including four misses on the same possession with just over a minute remaining.

"That's the one," McCollum said of the late statistic that loomed large. "That's the one we have to have. Those are the moments where you got a chance to close the door on them. We didn't do that."

--Field Level Media

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