NEW ORLEANS (AP)The Pelicans have ruled out power forward Zion Williamson and wing player Herb Jones for Tuesday night’s home game against the Dallas Mavericks, leaving New Orleans without three starters.
Small forward Brandon Ingram, who entered the NBA’s concussion protocol after a collision during Sunday night’s loss to Utah, already had been ruled out.
Williamson bruised the back of his hip later in that same game when he was knocked off balance in mid air by Jordan Clarkson’s clean block of a transition dunk attempt. Williamson crashed to the court on his lower back.
Jones also was hurt against Utah, hyperextending his right knee as he took an awkward step in traffic near the basket.
Ingram and Williamson are two of New Orleans’ top three scorers, each averaging 22 points per game, along with guard CJ McCollum (23.3 ppg). The Pelicans consider Jones, a second-year pro out of Alabama, their top defender, often assigning him to guard the most dynamic players. Now Mavs star Luka Doncic won’t have to contend with Jones.
The injuries have taken the luster off of a promising start to the season for New Orleans, which won its first two games at Brooklyn and Charlotte without trailing in either game before dropping its home opener in overtime to the Jazz, 122-121.
The Mavericks arrived in New Orleans having split their first two regular season games.
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