The Lakers — losers of two in a row and 4-of-6 — will be without LeBron James and Anthony Davis when they take on the Celtics Thursday, the team with the best record in the NBA.
Both players had been listed as questionable Wednesday, but Thursday after shootaround the Lakers changed that to both being out. Davis missed the Lakers' previous game against the Hawks due to bilateral Achilles tendinopathy and left hip spasms. LeBron has been bothered by his left ankle for a while and has tried to play through it. This game is the Lakers third in four nights on the road, often when teams consider giving players a night off.
Because the Lakers announced it before the game, they will not face the fine levied by the league against the 76ers after Joel Embiid sat out against the Nuggets last Saturday. Philly did not have Embiid on any injury reports leading up to that game, not announcing he was out until 30 minutes before tip-off. The Lakers were clear about their intentions.
The Lakers have a -13.4 net rating this season when LeBron and Davis are off the court. At 24-25 Los Angeles sits ninth in the West, only a game ahead of 11th-seed Houston and falling out of the playoffs entirely. The Lakers have two more games on their Grammy road trip before coming home, Saturday at Madison Square Garden against the red-hot Knicks, then against Charlotte.