Anthony Davis was ruled out from the remainder of Game 4 of the Los Angeles Lakers-Phoenix Suns First Round Series with a strained left groin suffered in the second quarter. Davis played through a hypertensive right knee he suffered in the second half of Game 3 against the Suns.
The injury occurred at the end of the first half. Davis stood up for a layup but immediately fell to the ground, squeezing his leg. He remained on the ground at that point, but when he returned to the locker room for half-time he never returned and was ultimately sent off shortly after. According to Athletic’s Shams CharaniaDavis is considered to be day to day with this groin strain. Fortunately, he avoided a more serious injury and could still play in Game 5.
“He is undergoing further medical evaluation and we will have more information tomorrow,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel told reporters after the game. Vogel also cited Davis’ knee injury, praising his big man for trying to play anyway. “He said his knee was sore, but there was no way he wouldn’t play,” Vogel said. “I thought he had gone to great lengths to try to compete with the pain.”
Davis had been absolutely dominant in Games 2 and 3, averaging 34 points and 10.5 rebounds in the Lakers’ two wins in that series. In Game 4, however, he had just six points from nine shots as he dealt with that hyperextended knee. Davis has fought injuries all season for the Lakers, appearing in only 36 of 72 possible games for them due to issues with his calf and Achilles tendon.
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The Lakers can’t win a championship without a healthy Davis. It’s that simple. They still have to win two more games against Phoenix just to escape this first-round streak, and if Davis isn’t healthy enough to help them make it, they’re going to have to lean even more on LeBron James for carry the charge in attack. He himself is still recovering from a sprained ankle and shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was already injured. Throw in Chris Paul’s shoulder and this streak has been defined almost entirely by injuries. It’s a sad situation for what should have been one of the best games of the playoffs. Hopefully Davis can come back in time for Game 5. If not? The Lakers are now back to the wall.