Frank Ntilikina’s path forward faces a familiar roadblock.
Coming off his best scoring effort in more than six weeks, the 21-year-old Frenchman could be sidelined Monday night in Houston with a sore groin. Ntilikina, who is listed as questionable after scoring 14 points in Friday’s loss to the Pacers, missed back-to-back games in 2020 on two separate occasions because of the oft-recurring injury and missed 32 of the final 34 games last season due to the same ailment.
“I’m not sure he really did anything today that set it off,” interim coach Mike Miller said following Sunday’s practice. “He was just feeling it a little bit. I think coming back off [the All-Star] break maybe, then the game. We’ll just have to see how he feels.”
Starting point guard Elfrid Payton (sore right ankle) is also listed as questionable after missing the team’s first game back from All-Star Weekend.
Should neither suit up, Dennis Smith Jr. would be in line for his third start of the season.