Anthony Davis is expected to be sidelined at least two weeks after suffering a right ankle sprain in the first half of the Lakers’ 106-101 win against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, sources told ESPN.
Davis underwent X-rays at Crypto.com Arena that revealed no fracture, according to the team. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Davis has an MRI scheduled for Thursday, and the team said he will be re-evaluated after the upcoming All-Star break.
Late in the second quarter, Davis went airborne to catch a lob pass from Malik Monk and came down on Rudy Gobert’s heel. Davis’ ankle turned outward and he fell to the floor, clutching his lower right leg in pain.
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Lakers forward LeBron James said Davis left the arena on crutches.
“Obviously it’s sickening to see AD go down in that fashion,” James said. “I hope he’s fine. Obviously, I mean, I know he’s not like, great, but obviously his health is most important for him individually, for our ballclub. I’ve seen [teammates get injured] too many times, obviously. So I just wish him the best.”
L.A. called timeout with 3:00 remaining in the second quarter, and Stanley Johnson subbed in for Davis, who was helped off the court and to the locker room by teammates Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan.
Davis experienced significant swelling in the ankle immediately following the injury, sources told ESPN.
Vogel said Davis was dejected when he checked in with him at halftime.
“Just shaking his head about, you know, really everything,” Vogel said. “Obviously I’m not sure what it felt like, but just being frustrated about it looking like he’s going to miss some time again.”
With the All-Star break beginning for L.A. on Thursday, the Lakers don’t play another game for nine days, until they host the LA Clippers on Feb. 25.
“The good thing is, he’ll be a lot better when we come back than he is tonight,” James said. “No matter where he is, he’ll be better a week from today. … So time heals all, and like I said, it’s an unfortunate play, an unfortunate event, and he’ll get back as soon as he can. But nothing to rush.”
Davis, who already missed 17 games straight from late December to late January with a sprained MCL in his left knee, had 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting when he left with the injury, and the Lakers initially struggled with the shock of losing him yet again.
“It’s very deflating to see AD go down the way he did, and our guys tried to rally the necessary energy to start the second half,” Vogel said. “But there’s an energy that you have to overcome.”
The Lakers trailed Utah 53-46 at the half after starting the game on an 11-0 run, and they fell down by as many as 14 in the second half before mounting a dramatic comeback midway through the fourth quarter.
James scored 15 of his 33 points in the final frame, extending his career-best streak to 23 straight games scoring 25 or more points. Russell Westbrook added nine of his 17 points in the fourth to close the gap, but it was rookie Austin Reaves’ 3-pointer with 17.4 seconds left to push the Lakers’ lead from one to four that allowed L.A. to close it out.
“Those guys are some of the greatest players to ever play,” Reaves said. “So for them to have the trust in me is special.”
L.A. escaped with the win and snapped Utah’s six-game winning streak in the process, allowing the Lakers to ruminate on a victory over the long break.
“We stuck with it,” Westbrook said. “Stuck with our principles and defended. Did a great job of just having each other’s back for the entire game. And it was good to see that from our group.”
The Lakers are No. 9 in the Western Conference at 27-31, four games behind the Denver Nuggets, who are No. 6 — the spot they would have to capture to avoid the play-in tournament. L.A. is four games ahead of the No. 11 New Orleans Pelicans, whom they’ll have to stave off to guarantee at least the play-in spot.
“It would have been easy to fold the tent and give in and let go of the rope as Utah was making their run, knowing that we just lost AD,” Vogel said. “Hopefully this game will be a lesson of what the big picture looks like for our team: Overcoming this type of adversity.”
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