NBA

Davis: James injury no excuse for latest Lakers defeat

By Sports Desk January 14, 2024

Anthony Davis said the Los Angeles Lakers could not use LeBron James' injury-enforced absence as an excuse after the 39-year-old missed Saturday's 132-125 defeat to the Utah Jazz.

James rolled his left ankle during the first half of the Lakers' 127-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, staying in that contest but scoring a season-low 10 points in just 24 minutes on the court.

The NBA's all-time leading scorer was then absent as Los Angeles suffered their sixth defeat in eight games on Saturday, with D'Angelo Russell's season-high 39 points not enough in Salt Lake City.

Davis had a triple-double with 15 points, 15 boards and 10 assists but shot five of 21 from the field as the Lakers dropped to 19-21 for the season. 

While the 30-year-old pointed to the injury problems which have hampered Los Angeles throughout the campaign, he feels they have enough talent on the roster to win games without their stars. 

"We're not in a bad spot," Davis said. "It could be worse. Our injuries just piled up over and over. 

"As soon as we think we get a couple of guys back, guys go down. So, that's the toughest thing but we still have enough to win basketball games. 

"Even though Bron doesn't play, we have enough to win. We've just got to keep going. We've played 40 games, 42 left. We got to make a push. 

"These next five or six games at home are going to be a big stretch of games for us."

The Lakers, who sit 11th in the Western Conference standings, welcome the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers and Chicago Bulls to Crypto.com Arena in the next 11 days.

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