Amid talk of Lakers flopping, Anthony Davis sustains a head injury
Anthony Davis, who exited Game 5 after getting hit in the head by Golden State’s Kevon Looney, was the last player to leave the Lakers locker room Wednesday night, walking to the team bus alongside a Lakers staff member and team security.
When the team’s locker room opened nearly 30 minutes after the game, Davis’ locker was empty.
The Lakers didn’t say for what Davis was being evaluated.
“I didn't see the shot. I just [saw] the aftermath,” LeBron James said. “But the medical team said he's doing better. That's what matters the most.”
The Lakers mostly echoed James’ optimism.
“Obviously everyone saw he took a shot to the head, but we just checked in on him,” coach Darvin Ham said postgame. “He seems to be doing really good already. That's just where he's at. That's the status of it right now.”
With less than eight minutes left in the game, D’Angelo Russell drove and scored, and while Davis fought for rebounding position, Looney hit Davis in the right side of his face. Initially, it seemed like Davis might’ve been hit in the eye, but as he slowly moved to midcourt and slumped over at his waist, it was clear he’d been hit in the head.
Davis left the game shortly after that and following a brief stint on the team bench, he went toward the Lakers’ locker room.
No foul was called on the play.
The Lakers lost 121-106 with Game 6 set for Friday night in Los Angeles. The Lakers led the NBA in free-throw attempts during the regular season.
Of the eight remaining teams, the Lakers are taking the third-most free throws per game, behind the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns.
Wednesday, the team shot only 15 free throws, their fewest this series and tied for their fewest this postseason.
“I mean, we played the same way we always play,” Ham said. “I don't know. I don't know what's a foul anymore.”
Wednesday, Ham responded to Golden State coach Steve Kerr’s criticism that the Lakers have been using “gamesmanship” and “flopping” to draw calls.
“We play a physical brand of basketball. We don't teach flopping, we don't teach head-snaps. You see Bron, he's got a thousand scratches on his arms, same with AD, same with Austin Reaves, same with Lonnie Walker,” Ham said. “It's unfortunate that it comes to that, but we hadn't done it all year, and we're damn sure not going to start now, looking for a third party to dive in and help us.
“We're just going to coach our team, just going to play the way we play, a physical, forceful brand of basketball and just let the chips fall where they may.”
James also pushed back.
“Our game is to attack, attack the paint. We don't mind physical contact. We actually like the contact. We don't shy away from it,” he said. “We're just not a team that goes out there looking for flopping opportunities. That's just not us. It's actually never been any team that I've played on in my 20 years where we've been a flopping team. It is what it is. They have their right to say what they want to say, but the game is always won between the four lines, and we've got to be better on Friday for sure.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.