Anthony Davis tried to play in Game 6 of the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round series against the Phoenix Suns, but left in apparent pain after less than six minutes of game time. At halftime, the Lakers ruled him out of the remainder of the game. Davis hyperextended his knee in the Lakers’ Game 3 victory, but fought through the pain to play in Game 4. That decision wound up costing him, though, as he strained his groin on a missed layup and had to be held out of Game 5.
The Lakers lost Game 5 by 30 points without Davis, so they may have figured that they had no chance to win Game 6 without him. The Lakers trail this series 3-2, and if they lose on Thursday, their season and championship defense will end in the first round against their division rival Suns.
This entire series has been defined by injuries. Chris Paul hurt his shoulder in Game 1, and despite an excellent Game 4 performance, has mostly struggled in the other games. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed Game 4 with a knee injury. LeBron James is nursing a high ankle sprain and has not been himself all series. The Lakers have struggled with injuries all year with many wondering if the shortened offseason contributed to their health woes.
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The Lakers took a risk by putting Davis back on the floor. They are still 13 wins away from a second consecutive championship, but Davis signed a five-year deal last offseason. He will be a Laker for the long haul, and if he gets hurt again, the team’s future could be jeopardized. But he and the medical staff thought he could help the Lakers keep their season alive, so he tried to give it a go. That decision didn’t pan out, and now, Davis is done for the night.