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Injured Anthony Davis hints at a Game 6 return with Lakers down 3-2

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PHOENIX — While the Los Angeles Lakers were getting crushed coming out of a timeout in Game 5 against Phoenix, Anthony Davis looked over to an individual sitting courtside and nodded his head up and down to suggest everything is going to be OK.

He flashed six fingers, as in a Game 6 return.

Without Davis on the court, the Suns unleashed a lethal blitz that resulted in a 115-85 blowout victory to take a commanding 3-2 series lead.

The injured Davis took to the court hours before Game 5 against the Phoenix Suns to test out his left groin strain on Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-10 forward took a few casual midrange jumpers, but was very careful not to plant his feet firmly. He then attempted to slide laterally and grimaced in pain every time. That drill was quickly abandoned.

He informed athletic trainer Jon Ishop of his limitations as assistant coach Mike Penberthy looked on. He took a few more causal jump shots before exiting. There was very little movement involved in that pregame workout that lasted approximately 10 minutes. He was in no condition to play basketball.

But the Lakers were still ruling him a game-time decision.

Davis told teammates he was going to push to play in Game 5, league sources told Yahoo Sports. LeBron James encouraged Davis not to rush it, noting the personal bout he had with the same injury, sources said.

Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers watches from the bench during the first half in Game Five of the Western Conference first-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Anthony Davis did not play in Game 5 for the Los Angeles Lakers. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

About an hour removed from his first workout, Davis surprisingly returned to the court for his second workout. Considering how bad Davis looked an hour prior, it was fair to wonder if his latest appearance was just a hoax to deceive the Suns or a legitimate body-tester.

But he didn’t look any better. He experienced pain the few times he attempted to move laterally. It was a brief workout consisting of casual midrange jumpers. Afterward, Davis took a seat on the Lakers’ bench.

He looked disheartened.

After that second workout, he realized he couldn’t go. Davis and Ishop left the bench and departed for the locker room. They both walked by Rob Pelinka — Lakers president of basketball operations — and Ishop alerted him Davis was a no-go.

In the second half, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope re-aggravated his left knee injury that kept him out of Game 4. A frustrated Caldwell-Pope stood outside a timeout huddle with a towel over his head pacing and limping in a circle.

The hobbled, beat-up Lakers squad is facing a young and hungry Suns team, and the Lakers’ supporting cast isn’t supporting.

Starting point guard Dennis Schroder played 25 minutes and scored zero points on 0-for-9 shooting. Excluding James’ 6-for-10 from three, the Lakers struggled again from deep by going 6-for-25.

The future isn’t looking good for the Lakers heading into Game 6.

But if there is a bright spot for the defending champs, it would be the return of Davis on Thursday night at Staples Center.

"Hopefully all the rehab and treatment that I'm doing pays off and the doctors clear me to go tomorrow,” Davis said Wednesday. I’m getting more treatment tonight, tomorrow and I’ll talk to the doctors before and after I shoot and hopefully everything comes back good where they can clear me. That’s what we’re hoping for."

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