An update on Anthony Davis’ condition is expected this afternoon, one day after a strained groin sidelined the eight-time all-star forward for the second half of the Lakers’ 100-92 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
With 48 seconds left in the first half of Game 4 of the NBA Western Conference first-round series, Davis landed awkwardly after missing a layup, rolled over on the court and reached immediately for his groin.
Davis underwent “further medical evaluation” after the game “and we’ll have more information tomorrow,” coach Frank Vogel said Sunday.
The loss evened the best-of-seven series at two games a piece. Game 5 will be played Tuesday in Phoenix. The ABC News-owned data prediction website FiveThirtyEight gives the Suns a 56% chance of winning.
The Lakers trailed 54-50 at halftime and were outscored 46-42 in the second half without Davis, including 27-15 in the third quarter, when they missed 13 of 16 shots, including all seven 3-point attempts.
“He’s one of the best players in the world, so you have to adjust,” Vogel said. “And I thought we gave great effort trying to overcome that loss but it certainly wasn’t enough.” The Lakers were outscored 6-0 to start the third quarter, trailed by 15 twice, 75-60 and 79-64, and by 16 to end the quarter, 81-65.
The Suns held two 18-point leads in the fourth quarter, 85-69 and 87-69. Dennis Schroder and Marc Gasol made 3-point baskets during an 8-1 run that cut the deficit to 88-77 with five minutes, 42 seconds to play.
The closest the Lakers got in the fourth quarter was within seven, 95-88, with 2:40 left, but their comeback hopes ended when Jae Crowder made a 3-point basket with 1:23 left in the fourth quarter for a 98 88 lead.
Davis started after being listed as questionable because of a sprained left knee suffered in the second quarter of Thursday’s 109-95 victory over Phoenix. He had six points on two of nine shooting and four rebounds in 19:24.
“I thought he was laboring a little bit but there was no way he was not going to play,” Vogel said. “I thought he gave a heck of a run at it trying to compete through pain.”
LeBron James was the only Laker starter in double figures with a game- high 25 points. Gasol added 12, Kyle Kuzma who started the second half in place of Davis, 11 and Alex Caruso 10.
All five Suns starters finished in double figures, led by Chris Paul’s 18. Cameron Payne added 13 off the bench in front of a crowd announced at 8,025, the Lakers’ largest at Staples Center this season. The previous high was 7,825 for Game 3 Thursday.
The Lakers also played without starting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who missed the game because of a left knee contusion suffered Thursday. Wesley Matthews started in his place, scoring six points. He had a game-worst minus-15 plus-minus ratio.
Phoenix closed the first half with a 10-2 run, taking the lead for good, with Mikal Bridges making two 3-point baskets and Paul making a 15-foot shot and two free throws.
If Davis is unable to play, Vogel said there will be more offensive opportunities for James but “obviously we need other guys to step up, not one other guy, but everybody.”