LOS ANGELES — Alvin Gentry took the cautious route Tuesday, holding out Anthony Davis in New Orleans’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
Davis missed his second consecutive contest after injuring his lower back diving in the stands chasing a loose ball in a 91-86 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
“Maybe if it was a playoff game we’d stick him out there, but I just don’t see a reason to risk anything or for him to overcompensate for something,” Gentry said.
“We’ll just what happens (Wednesday) night,” the Pelicans coach said.
The Pelicans travel to Sacramento to face the Kings on Wednesday night, and there is a chance Davis might play there. Davis missed Sunday’s defeat by the Los Angeles Clippers in a heartbreaking 114-111 overtime decision.
New Orleans was 0-4 in games Davis has been out entering the contest against the Lakers.
Gentry on Pondexter loss
Gentry said losing Quincy Pondexter for the season to a knee injury was a significant blow though the 6-foot-6 forward hasn’t played a game.
Pondexter averaged 9.0 points per game and hit 43.3 percent of his 3-point shots in 45 games last season after joining the Pelicans in a trade with Memphis.
“He was always in a situation where he was going through a series of tests and things like that,” Gentry said before the Pelicans played the Lakers. “To see if his progression was going to be to the point where he could get out there, it never got there. Rather than stick him out there and risk anything, it’s just one of those situations where he’s done for the year, we’ll get it all taken care of and he’ll be ready for training camp next year,” Gentry said.
The club announced Monday night that Pondexter would have a second surgery on his left knee.
Pondexter also had surgery on it in May.
Pondexter’s loss is another setback for the Pelicans, who have been beset by injuries all season. They have gone spells without Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Omer Asik, Norris Cole and Alexis Ajinca.
“It is what it is,” Gentry said. “In this case, I don’t know what else you can say. We don’t have (Pondexter), we haven’t had him this year, we were looking really forward because I think he could have really helped the team because he’s a spacer, another shooter on the floor and a versatile defensive player, so we don’t have that.”
Coach praises Bryant
Gentry said he’s seen enough of Lakers forward Kobe Bryant, who is retiring at the end of the season, to last a lifetime.
“What he’s done for the league is phenomenal,” Gentry said. “I think every young player, if you have an opportunity, should go back and look at his competitiveness and not only that, how his game has evolved. Every year he got better in some facets of his game. His desire to be the best player in the game just comes through.”
Fit for Kings
New Orleans caps its three-game West Coast swing by playing the second game of a back-to-back on Wednesday at Sacramento, where the Pelicans have captured six of the past 10 meetings.
If Davis plays, it will give New Orleans a boost. Davis averaged 21.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and a steal in four games against the Kings last season. Davis also scored his 2,500 career point in the clubs’ initial clash.
Evans also was effective against his former club, averaging 21 points on 56.9 percent shooting. In addition, Evans averaged 7.3 assists and 7.0 rebounds in the four contests last season.