Knicks' Ron Baker returns wearing mask after orbital fracture

ByIan Begley ESPN logo
Thursday, January 4, 2018

NEW YORK -- Knicks guard Ron Bakerreturned to the lineup Wednesday against theWashington Wizardsand played with a mask to protect his face after suffering an orbital bone fracture last week.

The injury occurred against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday when Baker tried to prevent Anthony Davis from dunking in the second quarter of New York's win.

Davis' forearm slammed against Baker's face on the play, leading to the fracture. Davis completed the dunk, and Baker was whistled for a foul on the play.

"Our motto is just [to] make everything tough on the defensive end. So our motto was just trying to stop him from dunking," Baker said Wednesday when asked for his approach on the play. "... I'm not big on watching another guy dunk in your basket.

"So 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."

Baker said he'll play with the mask for at least four weeks. He missed Tuesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs after being diagnosed with the fracture but was cleared to play Wednesday after being fitted with the mask.

The Knicks' second-year guard said he didn't mind some of the reaction on social media to the play, which included some questioning why Baker would attempt to stop Davis.

"I got a kick out of it. None of that stuff gets under my skin," Baker said. "There's a lot of people on the other end of that phone that will never say they were dunked on by Anthony Davis, so I think I'm in good company."

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