New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis is expected to miss Saturday’s game against the host Portland Trail Blazers after badly injuring his left groin during a loss to Utah a night earlier. Davis was hurt early in the fourth quarter and was unable to get up from the floor as he was placed in a wheelchair and taken to the locker room.
New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said Davis will undergo an MRI exam in Portland prior to the contest, while center DeMarcus Cousins was deeply disturbed with what he witnessed. “You hate to see a teammate go down,” Cousins told reporters after the 114-108 defeat. “We’re all athletes in this game, and one thing we can all agree on is, we hate injuries. I don’t think any guy wants to see anybody go down. It can kind of mess with you mentally.” Portland won seven of nine games before a substandard performance in Thursday’s 103-91 home loss to Milwaukee. Center Jusuf Nurkic produced 25 points and 11 rebounds in the defeat for his third double-double in the past five games.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FSN New Orleans, NBCSN Northwest (Portland)
ABOUT THE PELICANS (11-11): New Orleans has dropped three consecutive games while allowing 114.7 points and now faces the prospects of winning in Portland without one of the top defenders in the NBA. “Well, it happens all the time in this league, and you’ve just got to continue to play,” Gentry told reporters in reference to Davis. “You know, it doesn’t matter who goes down, we had a chance to win the game (on Friday), so that’s where you have to have everyone step up and play a little better than they did.” Cousins recorded 23 points and 13 rebounds against Utah for his fourth double-double in the last five games.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (13-9): Forward Al-Farouq Aminu (ankle) will be in line for more minutes after recording six points and five rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench against Milwaukee in his return from a 13-game absence. “I thought he looked good,” coach Terry Stotts told reporters regarding Aminu’s return. “I thought physically, he looked fine. He didn’t seem to be favoring his leg at all. His conditioning seemed like it was good. We were going to keep him at 20 minutes, but we were able to go over a little bit.” Forward Maurice Harkless saw just six minutes of action against the Bucks in his fourth game as a reserve since losing his starting job.
1. The Trail Blazers have won 12 of their last 13 home meetings with the Pelicans, including a 109-93 victory on Oct. 24.
2. New Orleans SG E’Twaun Moore matched his season best of four 3-pointers for the second time in three games while scoring 18 points against the Jazz.
3. Portland SG CJ McCollum has scored 20 or more points in four of his last five contests against the Pelicans.
PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 119, Pelicans 103