LOS ANGELES—While the Pelicans departed Staples Center Friday night relieved that Anthony Davis apparently avoided serious injury, they also seemed to lack clarity about their All-Star forward’s short-term availability.
Davis had to be carried to the locker room by his teammates following a third–quarter collision with Clippers guard Chris Paul during the Pelicans’ 111–90 loss to the Clippers. He returned to the bench midway through the fourth quarter and was officially listed as “questionable,” but didn’t reenter as the Pelicans trailed by 20–plus points down the stretch.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said afterward he wouldn’t have reinserted Davis into the game regardless of the score.
“No, I wouldn’t have put him back in,” Gentry said. “It’s not worth the risk.”
Paul initiated the contact between the two players as he attempted to draw a foul while bringing the ball into the frontcourt. Davis, who was whistled for a foul, immediately went to the court in front of the Pelicans’ bench as his coaches and teammates advocated on his behalf. Davis held his right knee and right ankle in evident pain and was attended to by the team’s medical staff.
Davis, who addressed reporters without any visible wrap on his right leg, refused to offer any specifics about the extent of his injury.
The Pelicans will face the Jazz in Salt Lake City on Saturday before heading back to New Orleans to host the Grizzlies on Tuesday. Gentry said Davis’s status for the Jazz game will be determined after further testing on Saturday.
“We don’t know,” Gentry said of Davis. “It’s something that will have to be looked at [Saturday].”
Pelicans assistant coach Robert Pack and center Kendrick Perkins were assessed technical fouls while arguing with the officials following the collision. Paul and Ryan Anderson were issued offsetting technical fouls during the aftermath of the play.
While New Orleans’s bench was clearly upset in the moment, Gentry and company opted not to make an issue out of Paul’s play during their postgame comments.
“You saw it,” Gentry said of the foul. “I don’t have anything to say about it. You saw it. Make your own judgment.”
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Davis replied “no comment” when asked if Paul’s play had been "dirty."
Although Paul’s motion wasn’t really a natural basketball play, there didn’t seem to be any intent to injure in his action. Stopping short or veering in open court to draw contact is fairly common, and the referees’ decision to assess a foul on Davis is more or less standard practice in that situation.
"I drew a foul and we knocked knees,” Paul said afterward. “I hope [Davis] is alright."
Davis departed with 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting and six rebounds in 28 minutes. He left with 2:47 remaining in the third quarter and L.A. leading 80–63.
Davis, 22, was averaging 23.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks entering Friday’s action.
New Orleans fell to 4–12. L.A. improved to 8–8.
You can watch highlights of the Clippers’ win below.