LOS ANGELES – A day after a blow to the left quadriceps of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope forced him out of Game 3 of the first-round series against the Phoenix Suns, the injury showed slight improvement and An MRI scan on Friday revealed no tear according to ESPN sources.
Caldwell-Pope came out of the Lakers’ 109-95 win Thursday with 4:16 remaining in the third quarter after Suns guard Devin Booker backed toward him while dribbling, making contact with the guard’s leg. and causing it to fall to the ground.
“I immediately felt pain when it hit me, and it hyperextended,” KCP said. “And it was painful enough that he couldn’t finish the game.”
Caldwell-Pope will see how he responds to rest and treatment on Saturday and then a determination will be made on his status for Game 4 on Sunday (3:30 ET, ABC), sources told ESPN.
Caldwell-Pope finished with five points, four rebounds and two steals Thursday. For the series, he is averaging just 4.0 points on 22.2% shooting (8% of 3), 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, significantly below his season scoring averages of 9.7 points on 43.1% from the field and 41% from the field.
At the end of Game 2, with Caldwell-Pope shooting 0-for-4 at night, the game’s broadcast cameras showed LeBron James face-to-face with Caldwell-Pope, imploring him to keep shooting when open.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said that while the Lakers value Caldwell-Pope’s long-range abilities, his defensive activity on Booker is paramount in the series.
“Their main role is to defend and run the court and provide that space when the doubles teams come and some nights there will be a lot of shots, others not,” Vogel said. “But we just want him to stay confident to do it.”
After scoring 65 points in the first two games of the series, Booker stayed in control in Game 3, totaling 19 points on 6 of 19 shots and four turnovers before being sent off in the last minute for a flagrant foul by 2 on Dennis Schroder.