Metta World Peace wasn’t playing coy or throwing the white flag when he said he’d sit out Game 4 on Sunday of the Lakers-Spurs first-round series.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni reiterated that stance because of World Peace has nursed a popliteal cyst in the back of his left knee. Even though he had it drained Friday morning, World Peace struggled heavily in the Lakers’ 120-89 Game 3 loss Friday to San Antonio where he finished scoreless on six field-goal attempts.
World Peace’s play was so bad that he sat out the second half and suggested afterwards that he would sit out in hopes to heal his knee enough for a possible Game 5 in San Antonio. Lakers forward Earl Clark will start in World Peace’s place.
“He wanted to give it a go, but he was dragging his leg,” D’Antoni said of World Peace. “We didn’t feel like he could go.”
The Lakers are already nursing various injuries. That includes Kobe Bryant (season-ending left torn Achilles tendon), Steve Blake (strained right hamstring), Steve Nash (sore right hamstring) and Jodie Meeks (partially torn ligament in left ankle). D’Antoni said “there’s no way” Blake, Nash or Meeks could play in Game 4, leaving the Lakers with a starting lineup featuring Dwight Howard (center), Pau Gasol (power forward), Clark (small forward), Darius Morris (shooting guard) and Andrew Goudelock (point guard).
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at email@example.com