Metta World Peace milliseconds before elbowing James Harden. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
More than 48 hours have passed since Metta World Peace elbowed Oklahoma City guard James Harden, but the NBA hadn't issued its ruling on a suspension length as of midafternoon Tuesday.
The Lakers, meanwhile, are running out of small forwards. In addition to whatever penalty World Peace faces, Matt Barnes will not travel with the team for the regular-season finale Thursday at Sacramento because of a sprained right ankle sustained Sunday against Oklahoma City.
Devin Ebanks is also injured after dropping a weight on the ring and middle fingers of his left hand at the team training facility Tuesday. He sustained bruising on the fingers and will try to use a splint on them in Thursday's game.
"There's concern there." Lakers Coach Mike Brown said. "We don't want any of our guys out if we can help it, but Metta has to abide by what the league says, whatever that means, Matt has to get healthy and the same with Devin."
Brown was critical of World Peace's actions, which caused Harden to leave the game with a concussion.
"Should that have happened? No, it shouldn't have happened" Brown said.
World Peace has not spoken to reporters since calling his actions "unfortunate" and "unintentional" Sunday. Brown said the 13-year veteran also told him it was accidental.
"He said he went up and dunked the ball, he said he was celebrating and as he came down the floor, he said he hit the kid with an elbow," Brown said. "He said it was accidental."
Harden said on his Twitter account that he was "solid" and "feeling good," but he will not play Tuesday against Sacramento.