LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) — The availability of Los Angeles Lakers starting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for Game 4 of their first-round playoff series against Phoenix is doubtful due to a lightly injured left knee.
The Lakers confirmed Friday that an MRI evaluation of Caldwell-knee Pope’s indicated no structural damage.
Caldwell-Pope suffered an injury in the third quarter of the Lakers’ 109-95 win over the Suns on Thursday. The defending NBA champions now lead the series 2-1.
Caldwell-Pope had a 9.7 point per possession average during the regular season, but he has struggled in the playoffs thus far. In Game 3, he only scored five points in 26 minutes, and in Game 2, he went scoreless in 30 minutes after scoring seven points on 1-for-7 3-point shooting in the series opener.
Last year, Caldwell-Pope was the Lakers’ third-leading scorer on their championship squad, averaging 10.7 points per game as their major perimeter shooting threat, hitting 37.8% on 3-pointers.
Late in Game 3, Wesley Matthews stepped up in Caldwell-absence, Pope’s scoring eight points and making two crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. If Caldwell-Pope sits out, Matthews may see increased playing time.
After neither player saw action in Game 3, coach Frank Vogel would consider Talen Horton-Tucker and Markieff Morris as options.