Jolts of electricity shot through Sam Bowie’s chronically injured right ankle Friday morning at Loyola Marymount, a therapeutic form of torture to which the Portland Trail Blazer center regularly submits in order to play.
Bowie’s status for Game 2 of the National Basketball Assn. Western Conference quarterfinals between the Lakers and Trail Blazers on Sunday depends on how well he responds to his latest electronic stimulation treatments.
After scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds in 21 minutes and being a positive in an otherwise forgetable 20-point loss in Game 1, Bowie awoke Friday with the ankle once again swollen and sore. Actually, Bowie said it hurt during Thursday night’s game, but he said he has learned to play with it.
“It’s real sore to the touch,” Bowie said. “If you were to touch it now, I’d jump off this seat. But give me 48 hours, and maybe I’ll be ready to play. I don’t know.
“I always expect it to get worse after I have any type of action on it. I don’t limp, but it throbs whenever I come out of the game. . . . It’s frustrating because I go into a game knowing I can only play about 20 minutes.”
In his 20 minutes in relief of power forward Caldwell Jones and center Kevin Duckworth, Bowie made six of seven shots and blocked two. But Bowie, who missed 15 of the Trail Blazers’ final 19 games of the regular season, said that his ankle soreness still limits his effectiveness.
“I shot the ball well and played pretty good defense (Thursday night), but I somewhat paced myself. I had to.”
Rick Adelman, Portland’s coach, liked what he saw from Bowie in Game 1. But, aware of Bowie’s extensive medical history, Adelman said it is difficult to count on Bowie’s presence.
Adelman, however, did not rule out the possibility that the 7-footer might replace Jones at starting power forward. Jones did a good job holding the Lakers’ A.C. Green to 11 points and three rebounds in Game 1, but he did almost nothing else. Jones did not attempt a shot, nor grab a rebound or have an assist. He did have one blocked shot.
“I don’t know,” said Adelman, when asked if he might make the change. “That’s something we’ll have to evaluate. We really won’t even know until Sunday whether Sam can even play. But, with the way he played (Thursday night), if he’s capable, he’ll be in there.”
Magic Johnson (bruised right knee) and Byron Scott (sore right wrist) were held out of the Lakers’ light workout Friday morning at the Forum. Both are expected to play in Game 2. After making 10 of 16 shots, including five of six three-point attempts, Scott said his chronically sore wrist felt better. “A lot of the pain is out of it now,” Scott said. “I just got to keep getting therapy (ice treatments) until it’s not there anymore. It’s bothered me, off and on, for a month.” . . . Scott’s eight rebounds in Game 1 was a career high in the playoffs. . . . Johnson suffered his bruise when he banged knees with a Trail Blazer. He continued to play after the collision Thursday night. . . . Michael Cooper, who needed 21 stitches to close a cut on his forehead after running into a railing in the Forum, practiced Friday.