Warriors stave off elimination as Lakers’ Anthony Davis is injured in Game 5

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins reaches to poke the ball away from Lakers forward Anthony Davis.
Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, right, reaches to poke the ball away from Lakers forward Anthony Davis during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA playoff Western Conference semifinals at Chase Center on Wednesday in San Francisco.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Anthony Davis wasn’t even looking when Andrew Wiggins rose off the floor and stuffed home the missed Draymond Green layup.

Chase Center erupted as Davis looked for a goaltending whistle that never came, the Lakers’ star center meekly walking back to the bench while all the Warriors fans surrounding him celebrated.

For a team that has defined this magical postseason run, it was best to just look away. These weren’t the Lakers who won four times against the brash Memphis Grizzlies. And these weren’t the Lakers that had pushed the defending champion Warriors to the brink of elimination before Game 5 on Wednesday.


“They’re the defending champs for a reason,” Lakers guard Austin Reaves said.

These Lakers looked more slow than tired. More affected than effective. Davis and the Lakers eventually got battered.

And Golden State? The Warriors look resuscitated.

“That’s just how the playoffs go,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said.

The Lakers lost to the Warriors 121-106 in Game 5 on Wednesday in San Francisco, unable to secure their trip to the NBA Western Conference finals.

May 10, 2023

Behind an early blitz from three and a late attack in the paint, the Warriors extended the second round with a 121-106 win, grabbing momentum as they try to author a 3-1 series comeback.

Davis left the game in the second half and didn’t return, casting some doubt over his status for Game 6 on Friday despite players and coaches saying he was doing all right after the game.

LeBron James had 25 points and Davis added 23 and nine rebounds.

Stephen Curry led Golden State with 27 points, hitting a huge three at the buzzer before halftime and extinguishing the Lakers’ comeback attempts in the fourth quarter with seven straight points.

Draymond Green scored 20 and had 10 assists.

“Just being in the present. Bringing our best effort tonight, and going out and winning a home game, that’s what this situation is and then you worry about what’s next after that,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before the game. “But there’s no — you don’t look ahead. You just look at this game and this moment.”


Schematically, the Warriors succeeded in pulling Davis away from the paint, forcing him to defend the three-point line instead of the rim.

That maybe can be fixed — if that’s the only issue with Davis the Lakers have to deal with.

Darvin Ham took a stray bullet to the face, witnessed the crack epidemic turn Saginaw bloody and dealt with PTSD on his way to an unlikely NBA career.

May 10, 2023

It was worst-case scenario for the Lakers down the stretch, unable to get it close, but too competitive to get blown out early, the results possibly disastrous as they head back to Los Angeles for Game 6,

Davis had to leave in the fourth quarter when Kevon Looney elbowed him in the face while fighting for rebounding position.

Davis didn’t make it across halfcourt on the following possessions and bent over near the scorer’s table before he was taken to the bench, and eventually back to the locker room, clearly shaken up.

Ham said Davis seemed to be doing well after the game.

“I believe he’ll play,” Reaves said.

The Lakers looked like they felt the physical toll of the playoffs in Game 5. In addition to Davis, James appeared to injure his left foot (not the one he hurt earlier this season) on an awkward landing. Dennis Schroder also seemed to come up limping after a baseline drive. The Lakers allowed 20 points off 14 turnovers and gave Golden State 18 second-chance points.

Lakers' Anthony Davis has his shot blocked by Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green as Donte Di'Vincenzo helps on defense.
Lakers’ Anthony Davis has his shot blocked by Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green as Donte Di’Vincenzo helps on defense in the second half of Game 5 of the NBA playoff Western Conference semifinals in San Francisco.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Before the game, James made his 19th straight All-NBA team, earning a spot on the third team alongside New York’s Julius Randle, Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox and Portland’s Damian Lillard.

He’s the third-oldest player ever, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan, to make All-NBA.

“You don’t take those moments for granted,” James said. “…I’m always appreciative to be a part of any selection in this league.

“… It’s still pretty cool.”

Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dallas’ Luka Doncic were voted to the first team.

“Shoutout to Bron, third-team NBA, 38 years old, 20 years deep. He should be on the first team off that alone,” Ham said before the game. “...That’s a hell of a feat at this point of his career. It’s amazing to say the least.”


Davis finished fourth among centers, missing All-NBA behind Embiid, Sabonis and Denver’s Nikola Jokic, who made second team.

“Those things are voted on and you ask him would you rather be on one of those teams and sitting at home or left off and still active letting the world see how well you play defense, and I think he’d choose the latter,” Ham said before the game. “He doesn’t care, only thing he wants to do is win.”

But will Davis be 100% come Friday?

Lakers star LeBron James earned a spot on the league’s All-NBA third team, becoming the third-oldest player to earn the honors in league history.

May 10, 2023

He was unable to return to the bench Wednesday, still undergoing examinations deep into the fourth while his team eventually succumbed. He didn’t speak with reporters afterward.

The physicality of Game 5 was impossible to ignore. After Kerr spent the previous two days talking about the Lakers and flopping, the game was much more physical with the Lakers attempting just 15 free throws — same as Golden State.

Ham said after the game that the Lakers played the same as they did all season and that they don’t teach flopping. Ham said his players are covered in scratches. James said none of the teams he has played on have been “flopping teams,” but no one directly criticized the officiating.

“Everybody is human,” Reaves said. “You can come in here, say the officiating this, that and the other, but at the end of the day, we’re players. We’re expected to make shots, but we miss shots.


“They’re expected to get every call right, but that’s not the nature of life. Nobody is perfect. You can’t even sit up here and blame them for anything.”