Lakers' LeBron James, Anthony Davis Won't Play vs. Hornets Because of Injuries

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 28, 2022

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The Los Angeles Lakers won't have their two best players for Friday's game against the Charlotte Hornets.

Head coach Frank Vogel announced LeBron James and Anthony Davis will sit with injuries. 

This will be the second consecutive game James has missed with a sore left knee. He didn't play in Thursday's 105-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Davis is dealing with a wrist injury he suffered against the Sixers when he fell to the ground after a dunk in the first quarter. The eight-time All-Star didn't appear to be hampered by it, as he finished with 31 points on 14-of-21 shooting, 12 rebounds and four blocks in 34 minutes. 

After the game, Davis told reporters he had an X-ray that came back negative. 

"Just a soft tissue injury, soreness and stuff," Davis said.

Health will always be part of the story for Davis, who already missed significant time this season with a knee injury. He appeared in just 36 games during the 2020-21 campaign and has never played more than 75 games in a season in his career.

Nonetheless, Davis is one of the league's best players when healthy.

His resume includes an NBA title, four All-NBA selections, four All-Defensive selections, eight All-Star Game nods and a spot on the league's 75th-anniversary team.

He can patrol the paint as an elite interior defender, stretch his offensive game beyond the arc, contribute on the glass and work in pick-and-rolls with ruthless efficiency.

Davis is averaging 23.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.2 steals per game in 29 starts this season.

While the Lakers likely need Davis on the floor if they are going to realistically compete for a title, look for the combination of Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Stanley Johnson to see more time against the Hornets.