The Los Angeles Lakers suffered another huge loss at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the bigger story coming out of the game was the number of injuries suffered. Both Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope left the game at different points, in addition to Lonzo Ball already sitting out.
In the second quarter, Thunder guard Andre Roberson dove for a loose ball and landed on Caldwell-Pope’s foot causing an Achilles strain. Caldwell-Pope immediately went to the locker room and never returned.
The loss was even more destructive to the Lakers as he had been one of the few sources of offense in the first half as the team battled to remain competitive. After the game, Caldwell-Pope downplayed the injury as anything serious, via Lakers reporter Mike Trudell:
Doesn’t sound like anything serious with KCP, since he tested it out at halftime. The Achilles is sore postgame, but he’s hoping not to miss more time depending on how it feels tomorrow.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 18, 2018
This injury couldn’t come at a worse time for Caldwell-Pope, who is in the midst of his best stretch as a Laker. Even when accounting for Wednesday’s game in which he only played a half, he is averaging 16.0 points and 2.2 steals on 50 percent shooting from the field and 48.3 percent from 3-point range.
While he has had his ups and downs this season, Caldwell-Pope is an extremely important player for the Lakers as he sets the tone on defense and usually guards the other team’s best player. He is a streaky shooter, but when he is on he has carried the team at times.
With no timetable on Lonzo’s return, Kuzma also suffering a minor injury, and Ingram having tweaked his previously-sprained ankle, the Lakers’ injury report has quickly grown lengthy yet again.
They next take the court on Friday against the Indiana Pacers for the start of a three-game homestand.
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