WASHINGTON — Ron Baker has proved he can take an elbow to the face and all the jokes that came along with it.
Baker suffered a left orbital fracture after being hit in the face when he unsuccessfully tried to prevent the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis from dunking Saturday night. The play has been all over the internet and on social media, where fans have had fun with Baker.
“I got a kick out of it,” Baker said. “None of that stuff gets under my skin or anything. There’s a lot of people on the other end of that phone that will never say they can be dunked on by Anthony Davis. So I think I’m in pretty good company.”
Baker got fitted for a protective mask. He was able to play Wednesday after missing Tuesday’s loss to the Spurs. Baker said it’s uncomfortable, but he has to get used to it. He will have to wear the mask for four weeks.
He had his own fun, posting pictures of himself on social media, and writing that his iPhone X facial recognition wasn’t working anymore.
The hard-nosed guard was coming over to help when Davis was going up for a dunk, but he didn’t stop it, and he has the bruises and three stitches to prove it. But Baker sounds as if he would do it again, except hope for a different result.
“I’m not big on watching another guy dunk in your basket,” Baker said. “I was just trying to send him to the line and earn his point. But he went to the line with the made basket. When you’re 6-4 and a guy’s 7-foot and with authority at the rim it makes things a little tough for you.”
Remarkably Baker returned to that game. Doctors in New Orleans didn’t discover the fracture, and cleared Baker to return.
“I guess it wasn’t looked at correctly,” Baker said. “I honestly felt fine the past couple of days. The scan showed differently. I was kind of surprised myself.”
Baker said he spoke to Lance Thomas, who had to wear a mask last season after suffering a similar injury, about what to expect.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever used a mask,” Baker said. “I can see fine, so I think that’s the biggest priority. It’s obviously uncomfortable, but I’ll get through it. It fits good, that’s all that matters.”
Tim misses 17th game
Tim Hardaway Jr., who missed his 17th straight game with a stress injury in his lower left leg, went through another pregame workout. He shot jump shots without any brace on his foot and ankle. Hardaway could be cleared to do more later on this three-game trip. There still is no timetable for his return.
Frank Ntilikina was feeling better after being under the weather Tuesday. Ntilikina played only 18 seconds in the fourth quarter against the Spurs . . . Joakim Noah, who appeared in the last two games, was inactive Wednesday.