SACRAMENTO, Calif. – This was finally the night the Hornets would get encouraging news on the injury front, a positive update in the moment and for the future. Eric Gordon was playing both ends of a back-to-back for the first time in almost exactly one year, he was passing the important test with a good showing, and it was about time New Orleans caught a medical break.
Enter Anthony Davis.
Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena, one of the team’s centerpieces of the future, Gordon, went 34 minutes with a bounce in his second game in as many nights. But that gave way to the uncertainty of the centerpiece, Davis, limping out of the locker room and headed for the flight back to New Orleans and a likely MRI exam on his left knee.
The initial diagnosis was a sprain, the result of Sacramento’s Marcus Thornton landing hard on Davis’ knee when Davis was on the court after challenging a Thornton drive under the basket in the fourth quarter of the 121-110 Kings victory. Davis, walking under his own power, left the arena with security and was not talking.
“I think he’s OK,” coach Monty Williams said. “I don’t want to jump the gun. I didn’t see the play yet, but he said Marcus landed on his knee. He said he’s a little sore. I’m just glad it wasn’t a buckle or a ligament or anything like that. We don’t know that for sure. But usually when somebody lands on it, it could be a contusion. It’s probably more scary than anything else. We’ve got to let the doctors check him out and make sure. He’s walking around. He’s got ice on it.”
Williams added that “I’m pretty sure we’ll rush him right over to our people” after the team lands in New Orleans to get an MRI.
Gordon supplied the encouraging update of the night. Working his way back from the injured right knee that caused him to miss the first 29 games of the season, he went from the 33 minutes Tuesday against the Lakers in Los Angeles to the 34 in Sacramento while contributing 23 points and seven assists, both team highs.
“It felt fine,” Gordon said after playing on consecutive nights for the first time since April 6-7, 2012. “It felt better, overall. It was good to get a back-to-back in before the end of the year, just to see how it works out for me. It worked out pretty well for me.”
Said Williams: “Eric’s fine. This is what we had planned on. We knew we were going to take a hit this season by keeping him out and the minute restriction with the hopes that he’d be a hundred percent this summer. We plan on him having a great year next year because he’ll be healthy.”
The Hornets close the season with home games Friday against the Clippers and Sunday against the Mavericks and then a trip to Dallas for the finale.