Lakers’ Davis reportedly day-to-day with groin injury, status for Game 5 ‘unclear’

2021 NBA Playoffs - Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
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Without Anthony Davis on the court due to injury, the Phoenix Suns opened the second half of Game 4 Sunday with a 14-4 run, took command, and held that lead the rest of the way to even the series 2-2. For all the due praise of Dennis Schroder, Kyle Kuzma, and the rest of the Lakers’ role players, this is a top-heavy roster that needs peak LeBron James and Davis to reach its goals, and in the second half Sunday Los Angeles was without AD.

That could be the case again for Game 5 on Tuesday.

Davis suffered a groin injury on Sunday, and while the team has released nothing official other than to say it is a strain, multiple reports say Davis is day-to-day. From Shams Charania of The Athletic and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

This is a Grade 1 groin strain, reports Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. While that is the lowest grade of strain, it is painful to run or jump and it can be easy to aggravate or worsen the injury.

The groin strain is on Davis’ left leg, the opposite leg from the calf injury Davis has had to play through this series.

The history of Davis with this injury is not good for the Lakers.

Davis averaged 27 points and 9.3 rebounds a game through the first three games of this series.

The best Lakers’ lineups have Davis at center; he is by far their best defensive big man. Now Frank Vogel will have to go with more Andre Drummond and Marc Gasol, both of which have been exploited at points by the Suns in this series. Some small-ball lineups with Markieff Morris at center likely will be on the table as well.

As Chris Paul heals, the Suns get stronger each game. The Lakers with Davis — or even with a compromised Davis — may have trouble taking two-of-three from a Phoenix team with home-court advantage.