Los Angeles Lakers starting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will miss Sunday’s playoff game against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center because of a left knee contusion, the team announced.
Caldwell-Pope was injured Thursday when his left foot made contact with Suns guard Devin Booker’s left foot and fell to the court. He did not return to the game after suffering the injury, missing the final four minutes, 16 seconds of the third quarter and all of the fourth.
Caldwell-Pope underwent an MRI Friday, which confirmed no structural damage and a mild left knee contusion, the team announced Friday. He had been listed as questionable.
Caldwell-Pope started 67 of the Lakers’ 72 regular-season games, averaging 9.7 points per game, sixth among Lakers to play at least 36 games for the team.
Wesley Matthews is expected to start Game 4 of the NBA first-round playoff series in place of Caldwell-Pope. He scored eight points Thursday in 18:28, including all but 47 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Anthony Davis will start for the Lakers after being listed as questionable for because of a sprained left knee, coach Frank Vogel said.
Davis told reporters Saturday “there is no chance” he would miss Sunday’s game.
“Obviously, we still want to see how I feel,” Davis said. “It is playoffs and I want to be on the floor. I’ll get examined tomorrow before the game and even later on tonight.
“But as a player, I wanted to be in this moment, I wanted to be in the playoffs and help contribute to my team’s success. I want to be out there. In my eyes, for me as a competitor, I think I’ll be out there tomorrow.”
The eight-time all-star forward said there is “a little swelling” in the knee and he has been wearing a compression sleeve to reduce the swelling. He said he has been receiving treatment and undergoing rehab to “get the muscles firing again.”
“I’m doing everything I can to be on the floor,” Davis said.
Davis said he “kind of hyperextended” the knee when he landed after blocking a layup by Devin Booker during a fast break with two minutes, 36 seconds left in the second quarter of Thursday’s 109-95 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Davis played the remainder of the half, the entire third quarter and all but 2:25 of the fourth quarter, scoring a game-high 34 points and pulling down a game-high-equaling 11 rebounds as the Lakers took a two games to one lead in the best-of-seven series.
Davis views Sunday’s game as “probably the biggest game of the series,” unless it goes the maximum seven games.
“We’re going in wanting to protect home court, they’re wanting to take home court,” Davis said. “We know they’re going to play desperate in a sense. You never want to lose back-to-back games any series. You want to learn from your mistakes.”
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