Lakers rally the troops to beat the Nuggets but face anxious wait after Davis injury

By Sports Desk December 17, 2022

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.

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