Lakers’ Anthony Davis misses Detroit game because of leg injury

Lakers forward Anthony Davis goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.
Lakers forward Anthony Davis goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid during the first half on Wednesday in Philadelphia.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Lakers forward Anthony Davis didn’t play Thursday night against the Detroit Pistons because of a bruised right quad.

Davis injured his leg during the Lakers’ loss at Philadelphia, and he was seen limping around the court. He still played 35 minutes and scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

“Yeah, he’s got a quad contusion that had some swelling and with back-to-back [games] we decided to hold him out,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said before the Lakers played at Detroit.

This is the third game Davis has missed this season, and each has come in a back-to-back situation.

With the Lakers having just 71 days off between winning the NBA championship and starting the 2020-21 season, Vogel was asked if getting Davis rest when they play back-to-back games was part of a plan.


“Yeah, not part of a long-term strategy,” Vogel said. “He just got dinged up around those games. This [one] happened, I believe, in the first quarter. I’m not sure exactly what play. But he was hobbling for a few possessions. Felt like he banged it and just played through the pain the rest of the night. And obviously it swelled a little bit and had some discomfort this morning. So, we decided to hold him out.”

Five takeaways from the Lakers’s 107-106 loss to the 76ers in Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

Jan. 28, 2021

Kyle Kuzma started in Davis’ place.

After the game against the 76ers, Davis downplayed his injury and how he has been feeling this season.

“I had a little brush burn on my knee from the court and it was like bothering me on my tights, just rubbing against it so I just tried to pull them tights up off of it,” Davis said Wednesday night. “But I feel physically fine. I feel fine and we have a long season to go. So just trying to stay physically ready for every night coming off a short offseason.”

James keeps playing

The Lakers’ status report for Thursday night’s game had listed LeBron James as questionable with a sprained left ankle. In recent weeks, that has been the same report for James.

Yet James was in the starting lineup again against Detroit, meaning he has played in all 20 games this season.

Just to be clear, Vogel said “yes” that James was going to play against the Pistons.

Resting doesn’t seem to be an option for James, who played a season-high 39 minutes against the 76ers.


“We talk about [resting him]. If it’s necessary, we’ll do that,” Vogel said. “He hasn’t felt like it’s necessary to miss a game. He still has some soreness in it from time to time. He’s playing on it every day. But it’s nothing of a major concern.”

James continues to play at a high level.

He went into Thursday leading the Lakers in scoring (25.6 points) and assists (7.3). He’s shooting 50% from the field and a career-best 41.1% from three-point range.

So, it’s no wonder the 36-year-old James has been mentioned as one of the top candidates for the NBA’s most valuable player award.