Pelicans' Eric Gordon, Jason Smith out vs. Nuggets

Advocate photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Pelicans forward Jason Smith reads the book Swamp Song to students at Miller Wall Elementary School in Marrero Thursday, December 5, 2013. Smith, Pierre the Pelican mascot and two members of the Pelicans dance team stopped by the school to promote reading and give out free tickets to an NBA All-Star event in February. Show caption
Advocate photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Pelicans forward Jason Smith reads the book Swamp Song to students at Miller Wall Elementary School in Marrero Thursday, December 5, 2013. Smith, Pierre the Pelican mascot and two members of the Pelicans dance team stopped by the school to promote reading and give out free tickets to an NBA All-Star event in February.

New Orleans Pelicans starting shooting guard Eric Gordon will sit out Friday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets with a bruised right hip.

Coach Monty Williams said center Jason Smith, who has a right knee bone bruise, also was being held out.

Gordon injured the hip in a hard fall in the Pelicans’ previous game Monday at Sacramento when he was undercut while driving to the basket. His status has been day-to-day since then. He said Friday he will undergo further evaluation.

Williams would not speculate how long Gordon would be out. He missed 40 games last season with patella and ankle injuries and played in just nine the previous season, during which he had knee surgery. He had played in all 26 previous games this season, though.

“He’s got a deep contusion on his rear, so to speak,” Williams said. “I’ve had that injury, and when you try to run, it feels like your muscles are pulling your hip in the wrong direction, and you can’t run properly.”

Veteran Anthony Morrow replaced Gordon in the starting lineup.

“We decided we would go with Anthony Morrow because he gives us the shooting and the space that can help Anthony (Davis) and Ryan (Anderson) and Al-Farouq (Aminu) and certainly Jrue (Holiday),” Williams said.

Williams said he thought of moving guard/forward Tyreke Evans into the starting lineup, but he likes having him come off the bench. Evans has averaged 19.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists in his past three games since coming back from a sprained ankle.

Smith has missed the past two games, but he participated in Friday morning’s shoot-around. Gordon was dressed but did not participate. He left the court with a noticeable limp.

Smith said there was still pain in his knee.

“(It’s) feeling better,” he said after a shooting session. “Can move a lot better, definitely.”

Unlike Gordon’s injury, Smith said his did not occur in any particular game.

“Just kind of repetitive hits,” he said. “Bone bruises stink in that part because you can’t really see it, but you definitely feel it. It feels like a charley horse in your leg. The only thing that bugs me is the recurring pain under my knee.”