Hornets’ Vasquez won’t play against Clippers

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Hornets starting point guard Greivis Vasquez will not play in Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, coach Monty Williams said.

Vasquez injured his right ankle late in Tuesday’s game against the Lakers in Los Angeles. He played Wednesday night against the Kings in Sacramento, but had just four points and two assists.

“Grievis wants to play, but I can’t do that,” Williams said Friday. “His ankle was hurting the other night. I told him (Thursday) that he’s not going to play because I’m not trying to put a guy out there when he’s lower than 80 percent.”

Vasquez, who is third in the NBA in assists in his first season as a starter, had missed just two games this season — the Hornets’ home game against the Denver Nuggets on March 25 and the team’s home game against the Miami Heat on March 29 — with a sprained left ankle.

Williams said backup point guard Brian Roberts will start in Vasquez’s place. Roberts started against Denver and had a career-high 18 assists in leading the Hornets to a surprising 110-86 victory. He also started against Miami and had 13 points and five assists in the Hornets’ loss. Roberts played more than 40 minutes in both games.

He had one other start, against Portland on March 10 at New Orleans, with Vasquez moving to shooting guard due to Eric Gordon on a playing restriction and rookie backup Austin Rivers’ hand being broken four days earlier. Roberts had nine points and nine assists in New Orleans’ 98-96 win.

Williams said Vasquez may return for Sunday’s home game against Dallas.

“We’re going to try to give him another day to get some treatment,” Williams said.

Ryan Anderson will start in place of rookie power forward Anthony Davis, who suffered a left medial collateral sprain and bone bruise against Sacramento when he drew a charge from Baton Rouge native and former LSU standout Marcus Thornton, a former Hornet.