Just when Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans were really picking up steam, the star swatter had to take a seat with several of his banged-up teammates.
Davis was scratched from the game on Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves because of a dislocated left index finger.
He was injured late in a victory over Cleveland on Tuesday night – the third straight for the Pelicans – but remained in the game to finish it out.
Davis worked out before the game, but coach Monty Williams said they were going to play it safe with their franchise player.
“We could have held him out last night, but he was so adamant about playing that I let him go,” Williams said. “So, now we have to be his brains and make sure he doesn’t hurt his finger. But he should be ready for our next game.”
Davis has been a force all season and is one of only four players in the NBA this season averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, along with Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge. He has three games with at least eight blocked shots this season, and has been particularly dominant over the past two games.
Davis had 52 points, 26 rebounds and 15 blocks in victories over the Magic and Cavaliers.
The Pelicans next play at home against Chicago on Saturday. The Pelicans were also missing starting point guard Jrue Holiday (right leg), forward Ryan Anderson (back) and forward Jason Smith (knee). Greg Stiemsma started in place of Davis against the Wolves.
Davis’ absence was a rare bit of good luck for the Timberwolves, who were playing their first game without starting center Nikola Pekovic. Pekovic has bursitis in his right ankle and will miss at least the next week to rest it. Ronny Turiaf got the start for Pekovic and rookie Gorgui Dieng figured to see a big increase in minutes.
“You have no choice but to move on,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “Put Ronny there and G will back him up. It takes away a huge part of what we do. But that’s just the way it is. Other teams have to face the same thing. We just have to be a little bit better in other areas to make up for that.