Lakers forward Anthony Davis is not expected to play Wednesday night in the team’s back-to-back game against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center, according to people close to the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity.
Davis was hit in the ribs during the first quarter against Phoenix on Tuesday night, the Lakers said, and retreated to the locker room to get taped between the third and fourth quarters when it began to bother him. He returned to play and finished the game with 24 points, 12 rebounds and four assists.
X-rays on the right side of Davis’ rib cage came back negative after the game. The Lakers said Davis would be reevaluated Wednesday.
“[He’s] playing through a lot of pain, rib injury,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Tuesday night after his team defeated the Suns 123-115 at Talking Stick Resort Arena. “It was a gritty effort for him. He played through pain and helped us close the game out.”
Davis also has been dealing with a sore right shoulder that he had wrapped up during the game.
He played 37 minutes and 33 seconds.
“For him, when he’s showing that grit when he’s playing with injuries, there’s no reason for any of us not to be out there as well,” LeBron James said of Davis. “He’s been showing everything.”
Vogel had said Rajon Rondo, who made his season debut Tuesday night after missing the first nine games dealing with a calf injury, would not be playing in the consecutive game against the Warriors.
Rondo came off the bench against the Suns and produced a solid line with five points, six rebounds and seven assists in 14:20.
Having Rondo back relieved James of the responsibility of having to run the offense the entire game and allowed him to attack from different spots on the court.
“It’s something that I’m accustomed to. I can do either or,” James said. “But when Rondo is out there, it gets me off the ball. I’m able to get at the four. Without the ball, I catch it with a live dribble. He’s also a facilitator that can put people in position throughout the whole possession. So, it’s definitely great.”
Kyle Kuzma had an outstanding game for the Lakers against the Suns, scoring 23 points off the bench.
He’ll probably start at forward if the Lakers decide to hold Davis out.
“If [Kuzma] can bounce back and have another great game, that would be huge,” Vogel said. “I don’t know what the status of the other guys is going to be. But obviously if this was his first or second game back, we’d have a lot more to be concerned about.”