Lakers' Anthony Davis Hyperextended Knee in Game 3 Win, Says Injury 'Feels Fine'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 28, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Phoenix Suns during Round 1, Game 3 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 27, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis played through a knee injury Thursday to score 34 points in a 109-95 win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 3 of the teams' first-round playoff series.

Davis, who also recorded 11 rebounds, a steal and a block in 40 minutes as the Lakers secured a 2-1 series lead, told reporters he doesn't expect to miss any time with the injury:

"It's the playoffs. It's rare that I'm going to come out of a game. Landed awkwardly, tried not to fall on [Devin Booker]. Guess I might have hyperextended it a little bit.

"Just keeping it warm, keeping it loose and wanted to keep going. It felt fine throughout the rest of the game. Really didn't have any problems with it. ... It was all full of adrenaline, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow. Get some treatment and get some treatment Saturday and be ready to go Sunday."

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel added there were discussions with the training staff about whether Davis should be removed from the contest, but he was informed it was a "pain threshold injury."

"Just a gutsy tough performance from a great player," Vogel said.

L.A. battled through an injury-plagued regular season to earn the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference after the play-in tournament, but the reigning champions are starting to show they're far more dangerous than their placement in the playoff bracket would suggest.

The Lakers won the rebounding battle 51-35 and held the Suns to 42.7 percent shooting in Game 3. Along with Davis' big game, LeBron James added 21 points, nine assists and six rebounds, while Dennis Schroder chipped in 20 points.

"Obviously, it's been a rough year on me as far as physically with my ankle and dealing with that and still trying to get it where it was before the injury," James said. "But every day is a step forward, and I'm going to continue to put the work into with my treatment around the clock, getting it to where it was before the injury."

Deandre Ayton paced Phoenix with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Los Angeles has shown throughout the campaign that it's a championship-level threat when healthy. They were second in the West with a 21-7 record on Feb. 14, the last day Davis played before being sidelined over two months with calf and Achilles injuries.

By the time Davis returned, James was out of the lineup with a high-ankle sprain, and Schroder also missed time down the stretch of the regular season while in COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Now the Lakers' rotation is back to full strength and trending back to top form with two straight wins over the Suns, who posted a 51-21 record to secure the No. 2 seed.

Injuries are the one thing that could bring a swift end to L.A.'s title defense, but it appears Davis was able to avoid a serious setback Thursday night.

Game 4 is scheduled for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC. It's a critical turning-point contest, especially for Phoenix as it attempts to avoid falling into a 3-1 series hole.