When Lakers executives went out and acquired future Hall-of-Famers Dwight Howard and Steve Nash in the office season, surely they couldn’t have ever dreamed of a start like this: After going 0-8 in the preseason, Los Angeles has started the regular season 0-2 and, worst of all, Nash got hurt last night.
In the second quarter of the Lakers’ 116-106 loss to the Portland Trailblazers, the two-time MVP guard suffered a lower left leg contusion, the first time in his career he has had such an injury.
The injury occurred when the 38-year-old Nash collided with Portland rookie Damian Lillard near the end of the second quarter. Nash tried to play again after halftime, but after slightly more than a minute on the court he was replaced by Steve Blake. and left with 2:26 remaining in the second quarter. He tried to play again after halftime, but lasted just a minute or so on the court before Steve Blake replaced him. He went to the locker room for further treatment.
“It was sore but I went out to try and play and then I planted on it and it just kind of gave out on me,” Nash said after the game. “It was sore and functionally I couldn’t plant on it, or push off on it, or accelerate.”
Nash said it was the first time he had experienced an injury of this nature in his 17 years in the league.
“I’ve had contusions before but not necessarily in this spot,” Nash said. “It’s kind of frustrating.”
Nash, who finished with 2 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds in 16 minutes, is averaging 4.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds through the Lakers’ first two losses.
Responding to the loss, Dwight Howard said, “We’ve got to learn how to play together.”
Howard, who had 33 points and 14 rebounds in the loss to Portland. “You’ve got to be good before you can be great,” he said.
Kobe Bryant had 30 points in the loss.
Lakers coach Mike Brown said Nash would be re-evaluated Thursday to determine his availability for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“I guess I wouldn’t want to say right now (whether he will play) but I’m definitely hopeful,” Nash told reporters after the game.