By Ben Golliver
The Hornets announced that rookie guard Austin Rivers suffered a broken bone in his right hand during a 108-102 home loss to the Lakers on Wednesday.
Rivers fractured the fourth metacarpal bone in his right hand and will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with the injury. New Orleans' final regular season game is on April 17, exactly six weeks from Wednesday, so it's possible that the injury will end Rivers' season. Should he return in four weeks, he will miss New Orleans' next 12 games.
Rivers, 20, was the No. 10 pick in the 2012 draft after going one-and-done at Duke, but he has struggled throughout his rookie campaign, averaging just 6.1 points and 2.1 assists in 23.4 minutes while shooting 36.5 percent. The advanced stats are even less kind to Rivers. His Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 5.7 ranks him No. 334 out of an ESPN.com database of 335 qualified players this season. His Value Added, a measurement of his performance relative to an average replacement player, was -100.2, by far the worst in the database.
The loss leaves coach Monty Williams with a backcourt rotation that includes starters Greivis Vasquez and Eric Gordon, and Xavier Henry, Roger Mason and Brian Roberts off the bench. There are no playoff implications here: New Orleans is 21-41 on the season, tied with the Kings for the worst record in the West.
Rivers departed Wednesday's game against the Lakers with 4:28 remaining in the second quarter and did not return. He finished with 10 points (on five-for-six shooting), two rebounds and one steal in 15 minutes. SI.com interviewed Rivers, the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, earlier this season.