New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon has back spasms and is not expected to play in Thursday night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Smoothie King Center, the team said.
Guard/forward Tyreke Evans, who has missed the first four preseason games with a strained right hamstring, said he might play. He is listed as probable.
Gordon, who had 15 points, four assists and three rebounds in Tuesday's win against Houston, has been experiencing back spasms for two days, he said. He is listed as doubtful.
“I started feeling it the morning after the game,” he said. “I've just been experiencing back spasms since yesterday, but I'll be fine. It's getting better day by day.
“I've been getting treatment, and I'm going to see if I can do a little bit of movement later on in the day.”
Gordon said he didn't remember any particular play, during a drive for instance, in which he twisted his back or pulled a muscle.
“It was nothing that serious,” he said. “I woke up in the morning, and it was very tight. I knew it was tight right after the game.”
Evans said he was very hopeful that he would play against OKC, but it apparently will be a game-time decision. He had mentioned as early as Sunday that Thursday's game likely would be the one in which he would play for the first time this preseason.
“I feel pretty good,” he said after Thursday's shoot-around. “I got a good practice in (Wednesday). It felt a little sore (before shoot-around), but I ran out there and got loose, and it felt pretty good. So, I'm going to give it a chance to go (Thursday night).”
Gordon began running on Thursday and seemingly has made progress each day. He has practiced with the team since Saturday. Coach Monty Williams had been somewhat eager for Evans to play because he's a big part of the team's offense, particularly some of the new wrinkles that have been installed.
Former Pelican Anthony Morrow, who signed with the Thunder in the offseason, has a sprained ankle and won't play tonight.
Forward Lance Thomas, who played three seasons with New Orleans, will be start in starting lineup for Oklahoma City due to all the team's injuries. Nine Thunder players, most notably NBA MVP Kevin Durant (foot), center Kendrick Perkins (quadriceps) and power forward Nick Collison, a key bench player, are out. Power forward Serge Ibaka (ankle) and backup point guard Reggie Jackson (wrist) are day-to-day.