New Orleans Pelicans' Kira Lewis out for season after tearing ACL

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Pelicans guard Kira Lewis has torn the ACL and suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his right knee and will miss the remainder of the season, the team announced Thursday.

The injury occurred in the Pelicans' 120-114 overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. With 8:14 left in the second quarter, Lewis went up for a shot in the lane and his right knee gave out without any contact.

"It's hard," Pelicans coach Willie Green said Thursday. "The hard part of sports is dealing with injuries like this. Kira, he means so much to our team. He was starting to come into his own; I think everyone can see that. To have a blow like he has now is tough."

Green and the training staff immediately went to Lewis on the floor, and he was helped off the court by teammates before putting a little pressure on the right leg as he walked to the tunnel.

Rookie forward Herbert Jones, who played two years with Lewis at Alabama, said the first thing he planned to do after the game was call Lewis' mother for the latest news.

"Super tough. When I saw it happen, I kind of just went mute, said me a prayer and hoped the best for him," Jones said after the game. "Man, I just hated to see him go down like that."

Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram said the injury was tough to digest knowing the work Lewis had been putting in lately. Players and coaches have said Lewis is usually one of the first players at the practice facility every morning.

"It looked scary," Ingram said. "It took me a moment to get back into the game a little bit. I immediately try to pray for him. It looked pretty bad."

Wednesday's game was the first time Lewis had seemingly grabbed a stranglehold on the backup point guard minutes behind Devonte' Graham.

Green had been using a combination of Lewis and Tomas Satoransky where Lewis would finish the first and third quarters and Satoransky would start the second and fourth. Against the Nuggets, however, Lewis played into the second quarter.

In his past 11 games, Lewis was averaging 7.7 points, 2.1 assists and 47.9% from the field.

Lewis, 20, was the Pelicans' first-round pick in 2020 when he was selected 13th overall.