Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 8 of the first 10 points of the third quarter for the Lakers on Friday as they took on the San Antonio Spurs, which made what happened next even more unfortunate: The Lakers’ starting shooting guard turned his ankle while trying to take off for a dunk, and almost immediately screamed and crumpled to the ground on the baseline in pain.
Caldwell-Pope sat on the floor for several minutes before going back to the locker room, and the Lakers said he would get X-rays on the injury:
It’s a left ankle sprain for KCP … he’s getting X-rays at the moment, and his status will be determined.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 2, 2021
In good news for the Lakers, those images confirmed that this is just a sprain, but Caldwell-Pope did not come back to finish the game:
KCP was diagnosed with a mild left ankle sprain; he will not return to the game tonight.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 2, 2021
After the win, Caldwell-Pope said he was feeling all right and did not require a walking boot. He is hoping he can play in the Lakers’ next game on Sunday, but Frank Vogel said that would be up to the medical staff. Caldwell-Pope was just annoyed he couldn’t finish the game out tonight, considering how well he was playing.
“I knew my energy wasn’t there in the first half and in the second half I tried to change that and came out with great energy, scored eight points,” Caldwell-Pope said. “And to go down like that, I was kind of upset. I was starting to warm up, get loose, get into the game flow and then that happened. Fortunately (the X-rays are) negative, thanks for that, but I was a little upset that I didn’t get a chance to finish the game.”
Coming into this matchup, Caldwell-Pope was averaging 9.8 points per game, with his 52.9% shooting on threes serving as a key part of the Lakers’ spacing on offense. Losing Caldwell-Pope for any length of time — especially with Alex Caruso already out for at least one more game in the backcourt — would obviously be a terrible development for the Lakers, but this does not sound like it is an incredibly significant injury.
The team may hold Caldwell-Pope out for another game or two just to be cautious amidst this unprecedented turnaround, but he’s mostly been an iron man during his time with the team, and if the past is anything to go off of, expect him to return sooner than later, whether that means next game or soon after.
Caldwell-Pope will have Saturday off to rest his ankle before the Lakers play against the Grizzlies in Memphis on Sunday. Stay tuned to Silver Screen and Roll for updates on his situation.
We may update this story with more information. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.