Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Updated: March 3, 8:31 AM ET
Chauncey Billups out Wednesday night
NEW YORK -- Point guard Chauncey Billups missed the New York Knicks' 107-88 win against New Orleans on Wednesday night because of a bruised left thigh.
Billups was hurt when he banged into Magic center Dwight Howard in the fourth quarter of the Knicks' 116-110 loss in Orlando on Tuesday. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said before Wednesday's game that Billups was "day to day" and was noncommittal about the point guard's availability for Friday's home game against Cleveland.
Billups scored 30 points before leaving with 2:13 left Tuesday and is averaging 23.3 in four games since arriving from Denver along with Carmelo Anthony in last week's blockbuster trade.
He said he felt better Wednesday after treatment, but was still limping noticeably before the game. Billups has yet to test the injury.
"I'm going to play when it feels good enough," Billups said. "I can't say when, but if I continue to get better every single day, I'm going to try to get out there as fast as I can."
Toney Douglas got the start at point guard for the Knicks, and responded with an impressive performance, scoring 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting and handing out five assists. Billups didn't watch from the bench because his dress clothes hadn't arrived yet, leaving him unable to meet the NBA's dress code.
Before his strong effort against the Hornets, Douglas had struggled since a 23-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks last Wednesday. He'd scored a total of nine points on 3-of-21 shooting in the three games since. Both D'Antoni and Billups talked to Douglas about being more assertive prior to Wednesday's game.
Billups told Douglas to "try not to defer to guys. Call a play and just run it [and] be in command."
It seems as though the message hit home.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com contributor Ian Begley and The Associated Press was used in this report.