Anthony Davis missed the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth during Wednesday night’s game after landing awkwardly on his on his left leg following a midair collision with Denver forward Kenneth Faried.
After laying on the ground for nearly five minutes under the attention of trainers, Davis was helped to the locker room but returned for the majority of the fourth quarter, emerging from the hallway 15 minutes later to a standing ovation and chants of “M-V-P.”
Still, Davis’ return wasn’t enough to lift the Pelicans over the hot-shooting Nuggets, who earned a 93-85 victory.
In his 29 minutes before the injury, Davis scored 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting and pulled down six rebounds. There was no clear injury report given by the Pelicans during or immediately after the game.
In the final nine minutes, Davis scored just two points and took just one shot despite pulling down six more rebounds. He made a running floater in the lane with 3:32 remaining, then never received another offensive touch besides an offensive rebound.
Without injured point guard Jrue Holiday, Pelicans coach Monty Williams has been searching for a reliable backup guard with suitors Nate Wolters and Jimmer Fredette getting an opportunity to grab the spot.
For the past four games, Wolters appeared to be the frontrunner as the Pelicans’ first option off the bench, averaging 18.5 minutes per game. But Williams opted to split the bench minutes Wednesday, pulling Wolters in favor of Fredette early in the second quarter and going to Fredette again in the fourth.
Neither scored Wednesday.
“You just want consistency,” Williams said. “Both of those guys have done a decent job for us but sometime the matchup dictates who we play.”
The Pelicans’ latest ticket push invoked “The Special Man” and, in the theme of the classic New Orleans television commercial, it “let ’em have it.” Using players Ryan Anderson, Davis and Tyreke Evans as actors, the ad spoofed former furniture store Frankie and Johnnie’s commercials that ran on New Orleans-area televisions throughout the 1980s and ’90s.
The team’s video went viral, eliciting 40,000 views within 24 hours of its release. Anderson was the star, as the 6-foot-11 forward impersonated Frank Trapani, strutting across the court decked out in a white wig, while Davis and Evans chimed in with famous one-liners.
“I watched a lot of game film on it,” Anderson said, estimating he prepared and taped for three hours. “I watched the commercial 18, 19 or 20 times. I really wanted to embrace that role. He’s an interesting character. I’ve never really seen anyone like him. He has sort of a (New) Jersey accent and he’s not necessarily looking at the camera, which is tough.”
Davis said his preparation as “The Special Man” was far easier, saying it only took 10 minutes to prepare for.
“I had one line,” Davis said. “So when you have one line, it was pretty easy to memorize.
“They say it’s like a big-time commercial down here. It was funny though. That old kind of dry funny, and we tried to put a little twist on it.”
Evans was listed as probable before the game due to an illness, forcing him to miss pregame shoot-around. It’s the second sickness Evans has played through this season. The first came when he was infected after being bitten by Suns guard Eric Bledsoe in a Dec. 30 victory. ... Gordon missed his first nine shots before finishing 4-of-15 for 11 points.