LOS ANGELES — Guard Eric Gordon was not in the New Orleans Pelicans’ starting lineup Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Clippers because he missed a team meeting.
“We have team policy,” coach Monty Williams said. “It’s an internal matter. I’m not going to make a big deal out of it.”
Gordon sat out the first seven minutes, but wound up playing 37 productive minutes with 23 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also had five assists to match Anthony Davis for the team lead in a 107-100 loss to the Clippers.
“It was very strange,” Gordon said of coming off the bench, “but I’m just going to come ready to play, produce and give us a spark.”
He did that, but he also lost an upper front tooth as the result of a hard third-quarter fall. That didn’t keep Gordon out of the lineup long, however.
“It cracked in half,” he said. “I’m going to get it capped. No biggie. I mean, it was painful. I had a little headache, but I was still gonna play.”
Evans, Asik don’t play
Guard/forward Tyreke Evans (left ankle) was scratched for a second straight game, and center Omer Asik (right calf) was a game-time decision who also couldn’t go — leaving the Pelicans without two more starters to go with already absent point guard Jrue Holiday and key reserve forward Ryan Anderson on a growing DNP list.
“We have been dealing with a lot of injuries,” said Davis, who returned after missing the past two games because of an ankle injury. “It’s tough, not having Tyreke, Jrue, Ryan and Omer, who are all important pieces on this team. But this is the NBA. We have to deal with the adversity, and still try to find a way to win.”
Forward Quincy Pondexter said going home, after an 0-3 trip, should help.
“I can’t wait until we get home, and turn this thing around,” Pondexter said. “We’ve all seen what we can do (at full-strength, or near). Right now, it’s all about us. Our destiny is in our hands.”
The Pelicans don’t play again until Wednesday, so Williams was asked if that was a factor in sitting Evans out.
“This time, it’s because of pain,” the coach said. “He’s not responding (to treatment) the way he typically responds. Right now, he’s not close.
“We do have some days (off), but he won’t play until he responds to treatment.”
Turnovers didn’t help
The Pelicans’ 18 turnovers — coming after 21 in Friday’s loss at Golden State — were a huge factor. But an even bigger number was the differential in second-chance points: the Clippers outscored them 25-6 in that department. Los Angeles only held a 42-41 rebound edge. The second-chance scoring by the Clippers offset New Orleans’ 50.7 percent shooting, including making 12 of 22 3-point tries.