Dave McMenaminESPN Staff Writer4 Minute Read
SAN FRANCISCO — Anthony Davis exited the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 121-106 Game 5 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night midway through the fourth quarter and did not return after being inadvertently struck on the side of the head by Golden State’s Kevon Looney.
Davis was initially evaluated on the Lakers’ bench by athletic trainer Jon Ishop before retreating to the back of the arena for further medical attention.
Davis was placed in a wheelchair and carted to a training room after feeling “woozy,” a source told ESPN. However, Davis was able to leave the arena at the end of the night walking to the team bus without any assistance.
There was no mention of a concussion after an initial evaluation of Davis, a source close to the Lakers center told ESPN.
“Obviously everyone saw he took a shot to the head, but we just checked on him,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said after the game. “He seems to be doing really good already. That’s just where he’s at. That’s the status of it right now.”
Davis’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports Group, as well as his parents and Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, visited the training room after the game to check on the Lakers star.
While both players positioned themselves in the lane for a potential rebound of a D’Angelo Russell drive to the basket, Looney’s left elbow made contact with the right side of Davis’ face, near his temple.
As Russell’s layup fell through the net with 7:43 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut the Warriors’ lead to 99-88, Davis immediately bent over in pain, his hands covering his head. Ham subbed Rui Hachimura in for Davis on the ensuing dead ball with 7:34 left.
Davis had been effective up to that point, totaling 23 points on 10-for-18 shooting with nine rebounds and three assists. It was his third game scoring 20 points or more after putting up only 11 points in L.A.’s Game 2 loss in Golden State.
Davis’ official status moving forward is unclear. The team, through a spokesperson, did not identify Davis’ reason for leaving the game or the likelihood of him being available to play in Game 6.
NBA concussion protocol states that a player diagnosed with a concussion is prohibited from returning to action on that same day or the next calendar day and must complete the league-mandated return-to-participation process involving frequent monitoring and a series of increased exertion exercises before he is cleared.
Davis, if diagnosed with a concussion, would not be able to be cleared until 24 hours after the initial injury, or late Thursday evening.
The Lakers, up 3-2 in the Western Conference semifinals, host Game 6 on Friday night in Los Angeles.
Several of Davis’ teammates offered optimism about the big man.
“I believe he’ll play,” Lakers guard Austin Reaves said.
Added LeBron James: “The medical team said he’s doing better. That’s what matters most.”
L.A. played the defending champions to a standstill through the first quarter and a half before Golden State reeled off one of its patented runs. The Warriors outscored the Lakers 25-7 from the 4:22 mark in the second quarter to the 9:10 mark of the third to build their largest lead of the game, up by 18 points.
The Lakers didn’t draw closer than nine the rest of the way.
L.A. will get a second chance to finish the series and advance to the Western Conference finals at home, where the Lakers are 6-0 so far this postseason.
“We didn’t handle our business tonight, so I look forward to seeing our fans for another game in the second round,” James said. “You know, those six games are out the window. It’s over and done with. Our job is to try to be 1-0 on Friday. I look forward to that opportunity.”