Russell Westbrook kept up his triple double streak with a record 11th straight triple double in as many games, but OKC Thunder fell 131-122 to a resurgent New Orleans Pelicans who came to this game on the back of one of a 30 point blowout by the Orlando Magic.
For the Pelicans, Julius Randle showed out with 33 points and 11 rebounds that included multiple clutch baskets in the final minutes that iced the game for the Pelicans, who lost Anthony Davis mid way through the game.
Davis, after a career worst showing in the previous game, where he scored just 3 points off 1-9 shooting, came in hungry in the first half and was up to 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block when he went down with a shoulder injury after a failed block attempt on a Nerlens Noel dunk.
Anthony Davis’s shoulder injury and video of him leaving the arena from TNT pic.twitter.com/krlMKTr1dt
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 15, 2019
For those keeping track at home, Anthony Davis:
1) Reportedly sustained a shoulder injury at the end of the first half that was not apparent on the replay, and then
2) Left the building with Rich Paul during the second half.
Meanwhile, the Pels lead OKC with 90 seconds to go.
— Mason Ginsberg (@MasonGinsberg) February 15, 2019
Pelicans held on to the 66-63 lead at half time when Davis went down and Randles heroics ensured they never gave up the lead throughout the game. Davis, who walked to the locker room holding his left arm at half time, did not emerge again in the second half putting his participation in the All-Star game into question.
What will worry most Pelicans fans and the Front Office, is the extent of Davis’ injury as any long term injury would scare teams looking to trade for Davis this summer, from making mega offers for an injured player.
And while the injury did not look very serious, Davis has had a long history of injuries throughout his career with a total of 31 injuries over the first 6 years in the league.
While much of it might have to do with the heavy load he has been asked to lift for the Pelicans right from his rookie season, it still does not bode well for a 7-foot big man to have suffered from these many injuries at his athletic peak (big men famously do not age as well as guards and wings).
Just a week ago the Pelicans reportedly rejected a Lakers package of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, two first-round picks and two second-round picks for Anthony Davis in what seemed to be a move made to spite the Lakers.
Now, the Pelicans front office and its fans hold their breath for the report on Davis’ injury and an uncertain summer, where their whole future depends on Celtics GM, Danny Ainge giving up a whole lot of assets, including the one piece the Pelicans seem to want (Jayson Tatum), in a package for Davis.
Pelicans confirmed that the injury sustained by Anthony Davis was a muscle contusion that leaves his status for the All-Star game hanging in the balance.
— Pelicans Nation (@_PelicansNation) February 15, 2019
Yahoo Sources: New Orleans star Anthony Davis (shoulder) still plans to play in Sunday’s All-Star game but it’s dependent on how he responds to treatment in coming days.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 15, 2019
It’s going to be hilarious when Anthony Davis wins the All-Star Game MVP, then sits out the next five #Pelicans games with a “muscle contusion.”
— Sean Penney (@spenney83) February 15, 2019
According to NBA rules, when a player selected to the All-Star Game is unable to participate, the Commissioner shall choose a replacement from the same conference as the player who is being replaced.
Players who Commissioner Adam Silver could select to replace Davis if he withdraws are Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors or LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs.
Good luck with that Pels.