The Los Angeles Lakers received some good news regarding Kentavious Caldwell-Pope following his injury during Game 3 against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, May 27, 2021, revealing that the starting guard’s MRI on his left quad came back negative.
The result from the MRI means there is no tear of the quad, per ESPN, although his status for Game 4 at Staples Center is still uncertain. If Caldwell-Pope is unable to go, veteran Wes Matthews, Alex Caruso or young gun Talen Horton-Tucker could get the call to fill his spot in the starting lineup.
Caldwell-Pope left the game in the third quarter after a defensive play against Suns guard Devin Booker. The 28-year-old guard tried briefly to gut through the injury but instead retreated to the locker room. What might have helped his decision is that the Lakers had the game relatively in hand, leading by a hefty margin.
“I immediately felt pain when he bumped me, and it hyperextended,” Caldwell-Pope told reporters after the win. “And it was painful enough where I couldn’t finish the game.”
Caldwell-Pope’s wife, McKenzie, also weighed in on the injury via social media, writing: “KCP is okay. Thank you for the well wishes!”
Frank Vogel on KCP: His Primary Role is to Defend
The veteran guard stepped up for the Lakers during their bubble run to a title but has had a tough go so far in the postseason. He is averaging just 4.0 points on a measly 22.2% shooting, adding 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
On top of that, Caldwell-Pope, who was one of the team’s more reliable shooters from deep during the regular season, is shooting just 8% from beyond the arc in the series against the Suns.
However, Caldwell-Pope has been essential in the Lakers’ defensive efforts, which has limited the Suns to an average of 96 points over the last two games, propelling the defending champs to a 2-1 series lead after dropping the opener.
“His primary role is to defend and to run the floor and provide that spacing when double-teams come, and some nights there’s going to be a lot of shots, some nights there’s not,” Vogel said. “But we just want him to remain confident, which he does.”
Anthony Davis ‘Feels Fine’ Following Knee Injury
Game 3 was filled with scary injury moments, with a scary play from Anthony Davis at the top of the list. Davis chased down Booker and blocked him during the first half but came down awkwardly on his left leg. He revealed after the game that he hyperextended his knee on the play.
“It’s the playoffs. It’s rare that I’m going to come out of a game. Landed awkwardly, tried not to fall on [Devin Booker]. Guess I might have hyperextended it a little bit,” Davis told reporters after the game. “Just keeping it warm, keeping it loose and wanted to keep going. It felt fine throughout the rest of the game. Really didn’t have any problems with it. … It was all full of adrenaline, so we’ll see how I feel tomorrow. Get some treatment and get some treatment Saturday and be ready to go Sunday.”
The Lakers have a chance to take a commanding series lead as they host the Suns for Game 4 on Sunday.