Los Angeles Lakers' All-Star Anthony Davis says the stress injury in his right foot that has sidelined him since mid-December is "healing pretty quickly".

Davis declined to discuss timelines for a return to play for the Lakers, having originally been ruled out "indefinitely", but was upbeat about the progress of the injury when he spoke to reporters prior to Friday's 130-121 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The 29-year-old power forward had been enjoying a bounce-back season with the Lakers, averaging 27.4 points, with a career-best 12.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks, prior to the injury which has halted his campaign.

"Feeling a lot better, pain has subsided tremendously," Davis said. "I think the next step is [the foot] healing right now. I don't want to use timetables because that's a whole different thing, but it's healing pretty quickly.

"When we get back to LA, we'll do another image of the foot, and see how far it's healed."

Davis said that the injury was identified before it turned into a stress fracture which was a "whole different ballgame", while he added that the pain had significantly subsided.

"I'm just really excited to get back on the floor," Davis said.

"[It] hasn't been a 'Man, it's going to take me X amount of games to get back in rhythm,' or, 'Might not be the same.' That's not even been a thought in my mind. My thought has been, whenever that day is, it's go time."

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham was equally bullish about Davis' progress, which would significantly boost the 15-21 Lakers' playoff hopes, having rebounded from a 2-10 start to the season.

"He's trending in the right direction," Ham said.

"Everything he's being asked to do he's done and continues to do. We all feel comfortable, starting with our medical staff."

LeBron James concedes life without the injured Anthony Davis is "very difficult" for the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers fell to a 124-115 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, after the Mavs piled on 51 third-quarter points.

The defeat left the Lakers with a 13-20 record, having lost their past four games all without Davis after he suffered a foot injury in the 126-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on December 16.

In Davis' absence, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has trialled a shorter lineup with Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder in the backcourt.

"Reality is, without AD, we lose a lot of length, which we don't have already," James told reporters after Sunday's loss.

"We have to make up in ways that, without AD, is very difficult, very challenging. I think at one point we had a lineup of, I think Austin Reaves [6-foot-5] was the tallest guy on the court.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out."

Davis had been enjoying an outstanding season prior to the injury, averaging 27.4 points shooting at 59.4 per cent from the field with 12.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.

James has lifted in Davis' absence, with his 38 points in the loss to the Mavs marking his seventh consecutive 30-point game.

The four-time NBA MVP is averaging 33.4 points with a 58 per cent field-goal percentage, adding 6.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists across the past seven games.

On the Lakers' lineup without Davis, Ham added: "You throw everything up against the wall and see what sticks. It's one of those types of situations.

"AD's not here, not in the lineup. We're not going to start using that as an excuse. Hell yeah, it's a big hole in our lineup. But now, we're pros. We've got to step up."

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis will remain on the sidelines indefinitely after testing revealed a stress injury in his right foot.

The team announced the news on Friday on Twitter to update the status of their star big man, who has been out since landing awkwardly during a game against the Denver Nuggets on December 16. The Lakers had previously listed Davis on the injury report with right foot soreness.

A stress injury is part of a spectrum of ailments, the most severe of which is considered a stress fracture.

The club did not comment on the severity of Davis' condition or give a timetable for his return, saying only that further updates "will be provided when appropriate."

The news is devastating for a 13-18 Lakers team that faces an uphill battle just qualify for the play-in tournament in the Western Conference.

After a 2-10 start to the season, the Lakers followed with a 10-6 surge, thanks largely to MVP-quality production from Davis. The eight-time All-Star averaged 30.8 points and 13.3 rebounds over that stretch while shooting 63.9 per cent from the floor.

Amid that stretch, Davis scored 55 points in a win over the Washington Wizards, his most since joining the Lakers in 2019 and the second most of his career.

Already with a top-heavy roster, Los Angeles will now rely even more on 37-year-old LeBron James and 34-year-old Russell Westbrook.

The Lakers host the Charlotte Hornets on Fridat and will be part of the NBA's annual Christmas Day lineup when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

LeBron James says replacing the injured Anthony Davis will be a "collective group effort" for the Los Angeles Lakers as he recorded his own fourth straight 30-point game in Sunday's 119-117 win over the Washington Wizards.

The Lakers will reportedly be without All-Star Davis for a month after scans revealed a foot injury having limped out of Friday's win over the Denver Nuggets.

Davis, who has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, had been enjoying an outstanding campaign, averaging 27.4 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds per game.

All five of the Lakers' starters scored double figures on Sunday, with Lonnie Walker adding 21 points, while center Thomas Bryant contributed 16 points with 10 rebounds, including the game-winning dunk. Dennis Schroder and Austin Reaves each scored 12 points.

"Whoever is available to play, we have to make plays," James, who scored 33 points with seven rebounds and nine assists, told reporters.

"We're all NBA players and we have to go out and trust the game plan the coaches put out there. Tonight, we were able to do that for the majority of the game."

Davis only played 76 times across the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons due to injury, while James, now 37, regularly missed games last season too.

"It's going to be a collective group effort," James said about covering Davis' absence. "It's always been health with us, since we all joined forces.

"It's always about health. If we can stay healthy or close to and have guys on the floor available, we're going to give ourselves a chance to win because we're going to play hard, play the right way."

James came up with the game-winning play with a pass for Bryant's tie-breaking dunk with 7.1 seconds remaining, although the four-time MVP almost lost the ball in midcourt in the lead-up. Kyle Kuzma missed a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left.

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham declined to confirm reports on Davis' timeline after the game.

"We'll probably have something out official tomorrow," Ham said. "He saw some doctors tonight, so we'll see."

The Los Angeles Lakers will have to stay afloat without franchise centrepiece Anthony Davis for at least the next few weeks after scans revealed a foot injury that will keep him out indefinitely.

Davis, 28, has been plagued by injuries in recent years, but was enjoying arguably the best season of his career prior to Friday's win against the Denver Nuggets.

Averaging 27.4 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds per game while playing in 25 of the Lakers' 28 fixtures up to this point, Davis had seemingly rediscovered his best form after only playing a combined 76 games in the past two seasons.

But against the Nuggets, Davis ended up hopping off the floor after a lay-up attempt, briefly returning in the second quarter before sitting out the entire second half.

While the Lakers were hopeful it would only be a minor injury, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Sunday it will likely cost the eight-time All-Star "at least one month" and that the "Lakers are bracing for an indefinite absence".

With Davis out of the line-up, it remains to be seen if Russell Westbrook returns to the starting group or remains as the designated sixth-man, while backup center Thomas Bryant will undoubtedly see his role expand after impressing with 21 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes after Davis' injury.

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Anthony Davis is nervously awaiting X-ray results after he suffered a foot injury in Friday's 126-108 home win against the Denver Nuggets.

Davis, who entered the game averaging career-highs in both points (28.1) and rebounds (12.4) this season, came up hopping after a lay-up attempt early in the contest, briefly returning in the second quarter before sitting out the entire second half.

Head coach Darvin Ham told the media after the contest that X-rays were administered at the arena and they expect to have more clarity on the situation on Saturday, while ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported there is hope the injury is not severe and Davis will likely undergo an MRI.

A prodigious talent, Davis has been plagued by injuries in his 11-season career, only reaching the 70-game mark twice while only mustering a combined 76 appearances in the past two regular seasons.

He has played in 25 of the Lakers' 28 outings so far this year, and the Lakers' chances of a playoff push will likely hinge on the length of his potential absence.

However, against the Nuggets they were just fine, led by LeBron James' 30 points on 13-of-20 shooting with nine rebounds, four assists and two steals in 36 minutes.

The Lakers' bench picked up the slack as Russell Westbrook continued to make his case for Sixth Man of the Year, posting a 15-point triple-double with 12 assists and 11 rebounds, while also facilitating Thomas Bryant's best game in a Los Angeles uniform.

Bryant scored a season-high 21 points on nine-of-11 shooting, adding six rebounds and two steals, while fan-favourite Austin Reaves had 16 points of his own and an equal game-high plus/minus of plus 26.

Speaking immediately after the win, James pointed out the efforts of Bryant and rookie Max Christie in helping to bounce back from a disappointing overtime loss to the Boston Celtics.

"That's what this league is all about, you've got to be able to stay even-keel," he said. "Yes, it was a disappointing loss, but there are more games to be played. 

"I loved our effort tonight. The game ball goes to Thomas Bryant, and also rookie Max Christie coming in and giving us gigantic minutes, especially with AD's absence in the second half.

"We were just solid. Not only did we get defensive stops, but we got defensive rebounds and we were able to finish a lot on the break, not having turnovers.

"That's been an Achilles heel for us throughout this season, those unforced turnovers, and I think tonight we did a great job protecting the ball."

The Lakers will next face the visiting Washington Wizards on Sunday, who enter the contest on an eight-game losing streak.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving eclipsed 30 points each in the Brooklyn Nets' 120-116 home win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

It was also the return of Ben Simmons after a five-game stint on the sidelines, starting and contributing six points, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals in 21 productive minutes.

Durant top-scored with 34 points on 14-of-25 shooting, while Irving was just as good, scoring 33 on 11-of-21 shooting while chipping in 11 rebounds.

Mostly known for his offense, Durant blocked two shots, raising his season average to 1.7 per game – the eighth-best figure in the league.

Trae Young was solid for the Hawks with 33 points (12-of-25 shooting) and nine assists, but he committed a game-high eight turnovers. He is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 25 points (27.2) and nine assists (9.5).

With the win, the Nets have now taken six of their past seven, improving their record to 15-12 after starting the season 1-5.

Pelicans stay top of the West

Entering the game as the top two teams in the Western Conference, the New Orleans Pelicans rode a terrific Zion Williamson performance to a 128-117 win against the Phoenix Suns.

Williamson was unstoppable offensively, scoring a game-high 35 points on 13-of-17 shooting, adding seven rebounds and four assists. Of his 20 games this season, it is the ninth time he has scored at least 25 points on 60 per cent shooting.

There are 14 players shooting 59 per cent or better from the field this season, and of those, only Anthony Davis is averaging more field goal attempts per game (17.5) than Williamson's 15.4.

Embiid's early dominance almost goes to waste

Joel Embiid tied the Los Angeles Lakers' whole team in the first quarter with 20 points each, but the Philadelphia 76ers needed an overtime period to come away with a 133-122 win.

Embiid was eight-of-nine from the field in the first quarter for his 20 points, going on to finish with 38 on 14-of-19 shooting, 12 rebounds and five assists. Teammate De'Anthony Melton helped out with a career-high 33 points on 11-of-16 shooting, hitting eight of his 12 three-point attempts.

Anthony Davis continued his strong form with 31 points (nine-of-13 shooting) and 12 rebounds, but he missed a potential go-ahead free throw in the final seconds, before the Lakers were outscored 13-2 in overtime.

The in-form Los Angeles Lakers will have to face the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday without star duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

James has been ruled out with left ankle soreness, while Davis remains sidelined after showing flu-like symptoms during Tuesday's defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers, though the Lakers have said it is not COVID-19-related.

After a poor start to the season in which they lost 10 of their first 12 games, the Lakers went on a run of 8-2 from their next 10, before going down to the Cavs last time out.

Davis (27.3) and James (25.8) are comfortably their team's top point-scorers this season, with Davis in particular thriving of late, scoring a combined 99 points in recent wins at the Milwaukee Bucks (44) and Washington Wizards (55).

James has been his usual influential self recently, making 17 rebounds against the Cavaliers, tied for the third-most in his career in a single game and the most in any road game.

In a further blow to coach Darvin Ham, Patrick Beverley has also been listed as doubtful for the game against the Raptors due to right knee soreness.

Donovan Mitchell scored 43 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed a rare win over the former face of their franchise LeBron James, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 116-102 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Tuesday.

Mitchell's season-high 43-point haul was the most by a Cavaliers player ever against James, while it meant that the 37-year-old four-time NBA MVP has a 17-3 record against his former side.

The Lakers were not helped by the first-quarter exit of in-form big man Anthony Davis, who did not return due to flu-like symptoms.

James finished with 21 points on eight-of-17 shooting, pulling down 17 rebounds with four assists, while Thomas Bryant came off the bench to add 19 points with Davis out.

The Cavs led by two points at the final change, but Mitchell took control on 17-of-27 shooting with four three-pointers along with six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Mitchell scored 29 of his 43 points in the second half.

Cavs center Jarrett Allen capitalised on Davis' absence on his own return from injury with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while point guard Darius Garland had 21 points with 11 assists.

The Cavs' win means they are 11-1 on their home floor and improved their season record to 16-9, snapping the Lakers' three-game win streak.

Mavs down Nuggets in a thriller

Dorian Finney-Smith drained a clutch three-pointer with 16.8 seconds remaining as the Dallas Mavericks downed the Denver Nuggets 116-115.

Tim Hardaway top scored with 29 points including six three-pointers for the Mavs, who claimed an impressive road win, even with Luka Doncic only managing 22 points on five-of-17 shooting. Doncic did record a triple-double, adding 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

Back-to-back reigning MVP Nikola Jokic was also down on his usual output, scoring 19 points with eight rebounds and eight assists, while the center missed a crucial free-throw with 12 seconds left. 

Heat humiliated in second-half blitz

The Miami Heat were humiliated at home by the Detroit Pistons who triumphed 116-96, led by Bojan Bogdanovic and his 31 points, with 28 coming in the second half.

The Pistons piled on 69 second-half points after scores were 50-47 in the Heat's favour at half-time to improve their record to 7-19.

Heat point guard Tyler Herro top scored for the game with 34 points, while Bam Adebayo scored 21 points with 15 rebounds.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham shed some light on Anthony Davis' health after the surging star was forced to leave Tuesday's 116-102 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers with flu-like symptoms.

Davis could only muster eight minutes before making his way to the locker room, being promptly ruled out from returning.

LeBron James picked up some of the slack inside as he racked up a season-high 17 rebounds to go with his 21 points, but the Lakers were no match for the Cavs down the stretch when Donovan Mitchell caught fire.

Mitchell top-scored with 43 points on 17-of-27 shooting, while Jarrett Allen was the main beneficiary of Davis' absence, dominating the interior with 24 points (11-of-14 shooting) and 11 rebounds.

Speaking after the loss, Ham said Davis' issue was one he was dealing with all day, but he tried, unsuccessfully, to tough it out.

"Yeah, it progressively got worse," he said. "His temperature went over 100 – I believe it was 101-and-change.

"He said he was going to try and give it a go, and he did, but he just felt too weak, drained and dehydrated a little bit.

"But, you know, it's that time of the season, in terms of winter time and the weather changing. Changing climates, coming from LA and going to these different places.

"We've dealt with it earlier in the year, and he experienced it again today. It set in earlier in the day, and it worsened as the day went on."

Ham discussed how he tried to combat the Lakers' lack of size by pivoting towards a focus on speed, but ultimately did not have the firepower to overcome it.

"We massaged the rotation a little bit… with him going out, just really trying to throw some different line-ups out there," he said.

"They're a really wide, rangy, long, athletic ball club, so just trying to get some speed out there to combat some of their size.

"Hats off to our guys, man, they competed their hearts out. That's a huge blow, obviously, with the way he's been playing of late, but they stayed the course.

"They got through the first half pretty good, they made it competitive in the third quarter, and then the bottom kind of fell out."

James gave his respect to Thomas Bryant, who came off the bench for the Lakers and chipped in 19 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes, but said there is no replacing Davis.

"Next man up, but that's a tall task – figuratively and literally – for what AD has been doing for us over the last few weeks," he said. 

"I thought Thomas [Bryant] came in and gave us some great minutes. He was high-energy, worked the glass really well, but it was tough for us when AD went out. We had to switch up our whole game plan from what we were trying to do.

"But we gave as much as we could, we had a couple of opportunities in the fourth, but they broke away with it."

He added: "Obviously you can't replace AD, so everyone has to do a little bit more, but do their job, at the highest level or capacity they can do it, and live with the results.

"[Davis' exit meant we lacked] a little bit of everything. He's giving us everything – scoring, defense, rebounding, blocking shots around the rim, our length… when you have a guy that's six-foot-11 with a seven-foot-seven wingspan, you can't match that."

The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for the Lakers, although they have still won eight of their past 11 outings to pull their record to 10-13 after a 2-10 start.

NBA Player of the Week Anthony Davis exited the Los Angeles Lakers' clash on Tuesday with the Cleveland Cavaliers after experiencing flu-like symptoms mid-game.

Davis, who has averaged 37.8 points, 13.0 rebounds and 3.25 blocks over the past four games, left the court for the locker room late in the first quarter.

The Lakers officially ruled out the eight-time All-Star in the second quarter, reporting flu-like symptoms.

Davis had played eight minutes for one point with three rebounds and two assists, well down on his recent output.

The Lakers big-man has returned to career-best form this season, having been dogged by injuries over the past two years, restricting him to a combined 76 games in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

Davis scored 55 points in Sunday's 130-119 victory over the Washington Wizards, the second most by any player in a single game this season.

LeBron James says Anthony Davis after his dominant 55-point display in the Los Angeles Lakers' 130-119 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Davis' monster points haul, which is the second most by a player in a single NBA game this season behind Joel Embiid's 59, backed up Friday's 44 points against the Milwaukee Bucks. Davis is the first Laker with back-to-back 40-point games since Kobe Bryant in March 2013.

Davis fell just shy of his career-high 59 points in a single game, but it was the second most he has ever scored and most for the Lakers.

"He's been unbelievable, man," James told reporters. "On both sides of the floor. I mean, playing like the MVP of this league. Just straight dominance."

The Lakers power forward is averaging a career-best 12.6 rebounds this season, along with 27.2 points and 2.4 blocks.

"I just think he's hit a switch where he knows how dominant he can be, night in, night out," James said.

"He's got every aspect of his game working right now. From the paint, to the mid-range, to the threes, his free-throws, his jump hooks, he has everything working for him right now.

"It's just the work. When you put in the work, you live with the results."

Davis' near career-best season comes after injuries dogged him over the past two years, restricting him to only 76 games across the past two seasons.

James said eight-time All-Star Davis had re-discovered his confidence in both his body and his play, admitting he had kept in his ear to get the best out of his team-mate.

"We all need to be reminded sometimes, no matter how good you are sometimes," James said. "Why you're here, what your capabilities are and how much we believe in each other.

"Me as the leader of the team, it's part of my job to reassure AD how great he is in this league, not just this team."

Anthony Davis put up a sensational 55-point haul to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to their fourth straight road win, triumphing 130-119 over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

Davis, who scored 44 points against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Lakers' previous game, could not eclipse his career-high 59 points from 2016 against the Detroit Pistons.

But Davis' 55 points, coming from 22-of-30 field shooting and nine-of-nine shooting from the line, were the second most in a single game this NBA season, behind only Joel Embiid's 59 against the Utah Jazz on November 13.

The eight-time All-Star scored 31 of his 55 points in the second half, adding 17 rebounds and three blocks. Davis is the first Laker with back-to-back 40-point games since Kobe Bryant in March 2013.

LeBron James, who had been listed as questionable due to an ankle issue, added 29 points on 12-of-26 field shooting with eight rebounds and six assists but committed five turnovers.

Russell Westbrook came off the bench to contribute a season-high 15 assists with seven rebounds, while guard Lonnie Walker IV added 20 points on four-of-four three-point shooting.

The Wizards were not helped by a game-ending first-quarter injury to All-Star Bradley Beal. Kristaps Porzingis top scored for the Wizards with 27 points on 11-of-25 shooting, while ex-Laker Kyle Kuzma added 26 points with seven rebounds before fouling out.

The victory improved the Lakers to 10-12, having won three games in a row, but they remain 12th in the Western Conference.

Brown helps Celtics snap Nets' streaks

The NBA-best Boston Celtics ended the Brooklyn Nets' four-game winning streak and six-game winning home stand on 34 points from Jaylen Brown as they triumphed 103-92.

Brown led the way for the Celtics with 20 of his 34 points in the first quarter, finishing also with 10 rebounds, while Jayson Tatum scored 29 points on 10-of-19 field shooting with 11 rebounds.

Kyrie Irving struggled against his former franchise, shooting seven-of-21 from the field for 18 points with eight rebounds and five assists. Kevin Durant top scored for the Nets with 31 points but gave up eight turnovers.

Suns extend struggling Spurs' skid

The Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns condemned the San Antonio Spurs to 11 straight losses with a 133-95 blowout win led by Deandre Ayton's double-double.

Suns center Ayton finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Devin Booker added 20 points on seven-of-16 field shooting, with Mikal Bridges making six-of-seven triples in his 20 points.

The struggling Spurs were blown away in a 36-11 second quarter, seeing them close within two defeats of a franchise-worst losing streak, set in 1989.

Anthony Davis enjoyed his highest-scoring game since January 2020 as he put up 44 points to deliver a Los Angeles Lakers road win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.

The Bucks entered the contest on a three-game winning streak, and were welcoming three-time All-Star Khris Middleton back to the starting line-up for his first action of the season. 

Middleton was solid in his return, scoring 17 points on six-of-11 shooting with seven assists and no turnovers in his 27 minutes, but there was nothing he could do to stop Davis.

Davis was dueling head-to-head with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and while the Bucks superstar had 40 points (16-of-23 shooting), seven rebounds and five assists, Davis dropped his 44 on 18-of-27 shooting, adding a game-high 10 rebounds and three blocks.

It is the third-most points Davis has scored in a Lakers jersey, trailing a 46-point effort back in 2020 and a 50-point explosion in 2019.

Davis is averaging 26.3 points, 12.7 rebounds (most in the NBA) and 2.3 blocks per game (third-most) this campaign, and both his field goal percentage (56.9 per cent) and true shooting percentage (63.5 per cent) are career-highs.

With the win, the Lakers have now emerged victorious in seven of their past nine games to salvage their rough start and improve their record to 9-12, while the Bucks hold onto the second-best record in the Eastern Conference at 15-6.

Heat upset the Celtics in overtime

The Miami Heat (11-12) collected an impressive 120-116 overtime win against the league-leading Boston Celtics (18-5) as four of their starters scored at least 20 points each.

Bam Adebayo top-scored for the Heat with 28 points, while Tyler Herro added 26 with three steals, Jimmy Butler had 25 with 15 rebounds and Kyle Lowry chipped in 20 of his own.

Jaylen Brown was terrific for the Celtics with a game-high 37 points on 12-of-23 shooting, adding 14 rebounds and five assists, but his heroics were not enough to prevent his side from dropping only their second game from their past 16 outings.

Morant, Jackson deliver Grizzlies win

Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr showed exactly why they are the two centerpieces the Memphis Grizzlies are building around, delivering on both ends in a 117-109 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Morant top-scored for the Grizzlies with 28 (10-of-28 shooting), while Jackson flashed his unique skill-set by blocking four shots and hitting two three-pointers on his way to 22 points (seven-of-12) and nine rebounds.

Joel Embiid was immense for the 76ers, scoring a game-high 35 points (13-of-26) with 12 rebounds, eight assists and three blocks, posting a plus/minus of plus nine in his 41 minutes.

This means in the seven minutes he was on the bench, the 76ers were outscored by 17.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham downplayed the calf injury that kept All-Star Anthony Davis out of Saturday's game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Davis had played 16 out of the Lakers' 17 games prior to Saturday's game where the power forward was ruled out with a left calf contusion.

He played a key role during LeBron James' recent five-game absence with a groin injury, averaging 26.3 points and 12.8 rebounds this season.

"He was kicked at some point in the second half [on Friday] night and it's a little irritated, a little bruising," Ham told reporters pre-game. "So just trying to stay ahead of it and be a little cautious and take our time with it but he's out."

During James' five-game absence, Davis averaged 33.4 points on 64.4 per cent shooting, 17.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.

"Just it being a back-to-back, the load he was carrying, specifically with [James] out, it's just the smart and right thing to do," Ham said.

"We don't want to push him this early in the season. And when you're talking about different muscles and ligaments, it's something that can easily turn into a year-long issue. So just to avoid that, we don't want to put any additional strain on the area.

"The medical people decided it was the right thing to do and I totally agree."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.