New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis injured his left shoulder on Thursday night in their 131-122 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Smoothie King Center.
Davis, while attempting to go up for a block late in the second quarter, appeared to injure his shoulder on the way down. As he left the floor, Davis was seen favoring his left shoulder and holding it still as he walked to the tunnel.
— Ricardo LeCompte (@RLeCompteTV) February 15, 2019
The team later announced that he would not return. Davis left the game with 14 points and four rebounds in 16 minutes.
Davis was later seen leaving the arena during the game with his agent Rich Paul dressed in street clothes.
Anthony Davis leaving the SKC with Rich Paul pic.twitter.com/lUhFTfWETb
— Sharief Ishaq (@ShariefWDSU) February 15, 2019
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was asked about Davis’ early departure multiple times after the game, too, and clearly didn’t appreciate it.
“I’m going to talk about the guys that played,” Gentry said, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, before grabbing the box score and walking off.
Alvin Gentry mentioned Anthony Davis left the building after injuring his shoulder. Asked if that bothered him, he said: “I’m going to talk about the guys who played the game. They did a great job. We found a way to win the game. That’s what’s important.” pic.twitter.com/pvvQCOq6QW
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 15, 2019
Thursday marked just his fourth game back after Davis was sidelined with a finger injury amid massive speculation that the Pelicans were going to trade him before the deadline earlier this month. Instead of sitting him the rest of the year to protect his trade value, however, the Pelicans elected to play him.
Since his return, Davis has averaged 15.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in nearly 25 minutes per game — almost 12 minutes less than his season average.
“It’s been a dumpster fire,” Gentry said of dealing with the Davis rumors over the past several weeks. “It’s just hard. We want guys to be professional … It’s hard for guys to go through what they’ve been through. To be able to come out and beat a team of that quality, I’m happy for all our guys.”
Davis was expected to compete in the All-Star game this weekend in Charlotte, and was drafted by LeBron James. His status now, however, is likely up in the air as All-Star weekend festivities kick off on Friday.
An MRI on Davis’ shoulder showed a muscle contusion but “nothing too bad,” according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Davis will still head to Charlotte and receive treatment on his shoulder before deciding if he can play in the All-Star game on Sunday.
The Pelicans, it turned out, didn’t need its star late on Thursday night. After building up a 17-point lead late in the third quarter, New Orleans fended off a late Thunder run to snag the nine-point win.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with a season-high 44 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. His performance on Thursday not only marked his 11th-straight triple-double, but pushed him past Gary Payton to become the Thunder’s all-time scoring leader. Paul George added 28 points and seven assists for the Thunder on Thursday night, and Nerlens Noel finished with a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. They were the only three players on the team to score in double figures.
Julius Randle led the Pelicans with 33 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 11-of-21 from the field, and Jrue Holiday added 32 points.
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