Anthony Davis’ likely absence could be another obstacle for the Los Angeles Lakers’ defense of their 2020 NBA title.
Davis left Sunday’s Game 4 loss to the Phoenix Suns late in the first half with a strained left groin and is “unlikely” to play in Game 5 ion Tuesday, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Davis is day to day, and there’s “optimism” about his status after Game 5, Charania reported.
Davis dropped to the floor following a missed layup in the final minute of the second quarter, and he did not return to the game in the second half.
“He’s one of the best players in the world, so you have to adjust,” Laker coach Frank Vogel said after the game. “I thought we gave great effort trying to overcome that loss, but it certainly wasn’t enough.”
Vogel said Davis would be reevaluated on Monday, with Game 5 slated for Tuesday in Phoenix. The 6-10 forward missed more than two months bridging February and April with Achilles tendon and calf injuries. The Lakers went 11-7 in games this season in which LeBron James played while Davis was sidelined; James also missed time with an ankle issue.
“For me, it’s putting our team in position to be successful,” said James, who had 25 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in Sunday’s loss. “It starts with my approach, my accountability, trickles down to everybody else. So these shoulders are built for a reason.
“If it takes for me to put some more on top of it, then so be it. Win, lose or draw, I’m ready for the challenge…It’s going to be a big-time Game 5 come Tuesday.”
Davis, who already was playing on a sprained left knee from Game 3, averaged 27.0 points and 9.3 rebounds in the first three games of the series, with the seventh-seeded Lakers grabbing a 2-1 lead over the No.2 Suns.
The Lakers also were without shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope due to a left-knee injury. Suns guard Chris Paul has been dealing with a shoulder contusion since Game 1, but he registered 18 points and nine assists in Game 4.