When the Los Angeles Lakers have found themselves in a hole this season, they’ve been able to dig themselves out of it by going to their “death lineup” with Anthony Davis at center. Unfortunately, they didn’t have that option in Game 4 of their series against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday after Davis exited this loss with a groin strain.
While the Lakers were struggling well before Davis got hurt, any hope of them breaking out of their slump went out the window when he was ruled out. Not only was Davis their leading scorer going into Game 4, but he was their anchor on the defensive end.
Even though Davis was a step slow in the 19 minutes he did play on Sunday, his presence was as important as ever with fellow starter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also out. Davis ended the night with 6 points on 2-9 shooting from the field, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, a block and a steal.
The Lakers were able to find a lineup that worked late in the fourth quarter and cut the Suns’ 18-point lead to just seven points, but it was ultimately too little, too late, and the Suns got enough stops to win 100-92. The series is now tied 2-2.
It’s hard to say what’s next for the Lakers since we don’t know if Davis or Caldwell-Pope will be available for Game 5, but we do know that they’ll have at least one more chance to win a game at home, because Game 6 is guaranteed to happen now. Before that, though, they’ll take on the Suns in Phoenix in Game 5 on Tuesday. Hopefully, the decisions to take Davis out of the game and sit Caldwell-Pope on Sunday will lead to a healthy (or at least healthier-looking) roster in Game 5.