Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon out for rest of season

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Anthony Davis elevated himself from promising rookie to legitimate superstar.

Eric Gordon is having arguably the worst season of his career.

But those Pelicans, on opposite tracks, will continue to share something – an outside perception they’re injury prone.

Pelicans team release:

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that forward/center Anthony Davis (back spasms) and guard Eric Gordon (left knee) will miss the remainder of the season.

Davis was examined by team physicians, who determined that his injury will require 1-2 weeks of rest and rehabilitation.

Gordon will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee next week and is expected to make a full recovery.

Davis missed 18 games last season, and he will have missed 15 this season. He’s been hit by a variety of issues, which usually indicates bad luck more than being injury prone, but it’s impossible to look at his thin frame for his position and not wonder how well he can hold up.

More concerning, Gordon will have now missed 18, 40, 57, 16 and 20 games in the last five years. That’s every season since his rookie year. It’s much easier to label him injury prone.

Going forward, the Pelicans will have to address best practices to keep those two on the court.

In the meantime, they’re more likely to lose their final four games – at Thunder, at Rockets, vs. Thunder, vs. Rockets – and extend their losing streak to 10. That could help the Pelicans increase their lottery odds.

More likely, they’re just improving the position of Philadelphia, which gets New Orleans’ first-round pick unless it falls in the top five.

LeBron James hits go-ahead shot in All-Star win (video)

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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LOS ANGELES – LeBron James‘ team trailed by 13 midway through the fourth quarter of the All-Star game, but he led a competitive comeback.

This shot put his team up 146-145 over Stephen Curry‘s team, and Team LeBron held on for a 148-145 win:

Great penetration by Russell Westbrook, and he and Kyrie Irving moved the ball well. LeBron made it count.

LeBron James finishes reverse alley-oop from Russell Westbrook (VIDEO)

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LOS ANGELES — The new format for the NBA All-Star game brought a little more defense to the first half of the annual showcase, but it didn’t do much to enliven the game. That said, the game has been better than the pre-game “entertainment.”

Midway through the second quarter, his team down 15, LeBron James decided to make it a game again and played with some energy. That included a three, and a couple impressive alley-oop finishes. The best came via Russell Westbrook.

There also was this one courtesy Kemba Walker.

Those may be the two best dunks of the first half.

Anthony Davis opens All-Star game wearing DeMarcus Cousins’ jersey

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LOS ANGELES – Anthony Davis often relies on his Pelicans teammates to set him up.

Tonight, he gave a nod to one of them.

Davis started the All-Star game wearing DeMarcus Cousins‘ No. 0 jersey. Cousins and Davis were both voted starters then drafted by LeBron James, but Cousins can’t play due to injury.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:

Very cool gesture by Davis. He’s an excellent teammate.

No, Joel Embiid didn’t cheat during the NBA Skills Challenge

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The Internet got itself all in a huff on Saturday as they watched the 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge. In particular, the matchup between Chicago Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen and Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid stirred up a bit of controversy.

Specifically, folks accused Embiid of cheating.

During the passing section of the obstacle course, Embiid didn’t actually make any of his passes into the ring. He then proceeded on the next section and was neck-and-neck with Markkanen as they tried to finish out the head-to-head competition. Markkanen won, but that didn’t stop folks from saying the 76ers All-Star had circumvented the rules.

We now know that’s not true.

According to the rules (provided on the NBA media site, page 47 of the 2018 NBA All-Star Media Guide) Embiid was allowed to move onto the next section even though he hadn’t completed any of his passes. A player only has to exhaust the rack, not complete a pass. It appears rules sort of assume that if a player stands there trying to complete a pass three times they’ll fall so far behind they won’t be able to catch up.

Re-watching the video, it appears Embiid knew this rule to the game and figured if he didn’t make the first one he would quickly try to blast the next two passes off the rack so he could then move onto the next section.

Embiid even took to Twitter to head off accusations that he had cheated.

Via Twitter:

Trust. The. Process.