Anthony Davis was ruled out of the second half of Thursday night’s 118-94 loss to the LA Clippers because of back spasms, giving the Los Angeles Lakers two stars — along with LeBron James — who made their return from a long-term injury only to go back on the mend with the regular season quickly slipping away.
The loss, their seventh in the past nine games, dropped the Lakers to 37-29, identical to the Portland Trail Blazers, whom L.A. plays on Friday.
The Lakers are seeded No. 6, ahead of Portland, which currently occupies a play-in tournament slot at No. 7, even though the teams are 1-1 in their season series so far. L.A. has the tiebreaker edge because it has a better record versus Western Conference opponents.
It means the Clippers sweep the season series 3-0 and the likelihood of the Lakers having to take part in the play-in tournament has now increased as a loss in Friday night’s clash with the Trail Blazers would see them fall a full game behind Portland outside of the top six in the Western Conference.