ORLANDO, Fla. — Anthony Davis missed his first game of the season on Wednesday night with a right quad contusion.
Terrence Jones started at power forward for the New Orleans Pelicans in Davis’ place against the Orlando Magic.
“I got to figure out which one of my assistants lived a really bad life, because this punishment I know didn’t come from me,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said before the game. “What can you do? Whoever came up with, ‘It is what it is,’ that’s what it is. It is what it is.”
Gentry said Davis showed no symptoms after suffering the injury during Monday’s home victory over the Boston Celtics but experienced tightness Wednesday morning and again when he arrived at Amway Center in the afternoon for shootaround.
“With those situations happening, you don’t want to take a chance on something,” Gentry said. “It’s one basketball game. We’ll re-evaluate and see where he is tomorrow.”
Gentry said he didn’t know if the injury would affect Davis’ status for upcoming games.
Davis also has been receiving treatment for a back injury that briefly forced him out of Saturday’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and led to him lying on the sidelines instead of sitting on the bench on Monday to keep it from tightening.
“Every time I sit down, it just tightens up,” Davis said Monday. “That was the best way for me to try to keep it loose.”
The 23-year-old has started in each game of the Pelicans’ 2-9 start to the 2016-17 season, averaging 30.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals and an NBA-high 2.9 blocks. Davis missed 68 games in the first four seasons of his NBA career. He set a goal in training camp of playing a full season after sitting out a career-high 21 games last season, including the final 14 to undergo an ultrasonic debridement on his left knee.
Davis leads the Pelicans in total minutes played, points, rebounds, blocks, steals, field goal attempts, field goal makes, free throw attempts and free throw makes.
Wednesday’s matchup is expected to be New Orleans’ final game without Jrue Holiday, who will rejoin the team on Thursday after a three-month hiatus to tend to his wife, former USWNT soccer player Lauren Holiday, as she recovers from the birth of their first child and surgery to remove a benign tumor from the right side of her brain.
E’Twaun Moore, who missed Monday’s win against the Celtics with a right big toe injury, will return to the Pelicans’ starting lineup in Orlando, moving rookie Buddy Hield back to the reserve unit.