BEIJING -- Traveling halfway around the world to take a pair of preseason losses was the least of the Pelicans’ concerns.
It already became hold-your-breath time in New Orleans when All-Star forward Anthony Davis went down with a sprained right ankle and was done for the night less than six minutes into Wednesday’s Global Games event at LeSports Center.
The Rockets beat the Pelicans 116-104. Kyle Wiltjer had 15 points to lead the Rockets. James Harden finished with 14 points eight assists and six rebounds. Quinn Cook scored 20 points to top the Pelicans.
Davis crumbled to the floor after stepping on the foot of Houston center Nene while trying to maneuver in the low post to the left of the basket. It's the latest injury for Davis after he underwent season-ending surgery in March to repair a stress reaction in his left knee cap. Davis also suffered a torn labrum last season that did not require surgery on his left shoulder.
The 6-foot-10 power forward made just one of five shots and scored two points before leaving the game.
"I don't know the the technical term," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "I just know it's an ankle sprain. I don't know what grade it is. I haven't talked to the trainer.
"I will say it's just very frustrating, given that we can't seem to get a rhythm, can't seem to put a team together because there's always someone missing."
Davis has averaged 20.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.4 blocked shots and been named to the Western Conference All-Star team three times in his first four NBA seasons. But he has had a problem staying healthy every year. The No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft has never played more than 68 games in any pro season and missed 21 games in 2015-16.
The Pelicans have been monitoring Davis' workload in training camp and the preseason schedule so he could avoid any possible injury setbacks before their regular season opener at home on Oct. 26 against the Nuggets.
The Pelicans also lost shooting guard E’Twaun Moore in the first half with a right heel contusion and power forward Terrence Jones sat out the second straight game on the China trip with a right knee bruise. Rockets point guard Pablo Prigioni left the game after just 1 1/2 minutes when he took a shot from Alexis Ajinca and suffered a left shoulder strain.
Tyreke Evans and Quincy Pondexter were left at home in New Orleans since both are still recovering from knee surgeries earlier this year.
The Pelicans are coming off a thoroughly disappointing 30-52 when they lost 351 games due to injury and Gentry had to use 42 different lineups.
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