Blazers' Aldridge pushes back surgery
PORTLAND, ORE. – Portland Trail Blazers star forward LaMarcus Aldridge decided to put off thumb surgery, playing Saturday night against the Washington Wizards.
Aldridge had said on Thursday that he needed surgery to repair a ligament in his left thumb and was expected to miss from six to eight weeks. But just hours before the game against the Wizards, the Blazers announced on Twitter that the three-time All-Star would play.
"We don't know if it's going to go good or bad but I think at the least I'm going to try," Aldridge said before the game.
Aldridge hurt his thumb when his hand came down on the knee of Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins in the second quarter of the Blazers' 98-95 victory on Monday night.
Entering Saturday, the 6-foot-11 power forward led Portland with averages of 23.2 points and 10.2 rebounds and 1.18 blocks per game. He was one of only three NBA players averaging at least 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The injury looked like a big blow to the Blazers, who were already dealing with a depleted front line. Center Robin Lopez is out because of a fractured right hand and center Joel Freeland is sidelined by a strained right shoulder.
•JENNINGS INJURED IN PISTONS LOSS: Detroit guard Brandon Jennings had to be helped to the locker room during Saturday night's 101-86 loss at Milwaukee because of an apparent lower left leg injury. Jennings scored 16 points against his old team before leaving late in the third quarter. O.J. Mayo scored 20 points for the Bucks, who shot 11-for-17 from three-point range.
• STILL BUZZING: Brian Roberts scored 17 points, and host Charlotte beat New York for the Hornets' ninth victory in 11 games. Roberts, who started in place of the injured Kemba Walker, was 5-for-9 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the line. Knicks star Anthony was held out to rest his knee on the second night of a back-to-back.
• GRIZZLIES COAST: Zach Randolph had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Jeff Green scored 18 as host Memphis beat Philadelphia 101-83.