May 24, 2024

MIAMI — Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis experienced spasms in his left hip, according to the team, forcing an early exit from Monday night’s 108-107 loss to the Miami Heat.

After the game, L.A.’s big man said he is “very optimistic” about a speedy return to the lineup, however.

Davis said he tweaked his adductor attempting a spin move against Miami’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. late in the second quarter. He remained in the game for several possessions, favoring the injury, before he subbed out with 2:17 remaining in the first half with L.A. trailing 54-52.

Davis warmed up after halftime and started the second half, but the Lakers had to call a timeout to sub Davis out of the game with 10:01 remaining in the quarter.

Davis emerged from the locker room several minutes later and checked back in but was mostly ineffective. The Lakers were outscored by 10 points in the eight minutes Davis played in the third quarter.

With less than two minutes remaining in the third, Davis appeared to tweak the injury again and shouted, “F—!” before being subbed out.

The Lakers, who are 0-2 on their current road trip and 0-4 on the season away from Crypto.com Arena, play at Houston on Wednesday, a game Davis expects to be ready for.

“Everything’s going to be fine,” Davis said. “I’ll be ready to go for Wednesday, for sure.”

Davis — who entered Monday’s game averaging a career-high 38.8 minutes this season, second most in the league — finished with 9 points on 4-of-7 shooting, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 25 minutes against the Heat.

Davis dismissed the heavy minutes as a factor, chalking up the injury to “just an awkward play.” He plans on getting treatment overnight in Miami before the team flies to Houston on Tuesday.

While Davis’ status gave the Lakers’ reason to exhale, there was still plenty of consternation during L.A.’s postgame news conferences about how the game was officiated down the stretch.

D’Angelo Russell appeared to be called for one technical foul and then immediately ejected with 7:52 remaining in the fourth, but the Heat were awarded two technical free throws, which crew chief James Williams elaborated on to a pool reporter after the game.

“D’Angelo Russell received his first unsportsmanlike technical foul for an overt gesture reacting to a no-call involving a potential kick ball,” Williams said. “That earned him his first unsportsmanlike technical foul. Following his first unsportsmanlike technical foul, D’Angelo Russell subsequently received his second unsportsmanlike technical foul for disrespectfully addressing a game official with vulgarity, and per rule his second unsportsmanlike technical foul resulted in his ejection from the game.”

Lakers coach Darvin Ham was also called for a technical foul late in the third quarter for arguing a no-call when LeBron James appeared to be hit in the face by Thomas Bryant on a dunk attempt.

“I’ve been around this league a long time, man. You have a crew chief, [he is] supposed to, along with his counterparts, have the game under control. And all I want is an explanation sometimes,” Ham said. “We just want balance and consistency, that’s it. I see Bron shooting four free throws. And the amount of times he attacked the rim, the amount of times he was slapped on the arm, which I could see plain as day, for that not to be called, man … he’s not flopping. I’m watching him go to the hole strong.”

James said the culmination of the technical fouls — including the one called on L.A. when he was whistled for a delay of game penalty with 3:50 remaining in the fourth for rolling the ball to the sideline after being called for a foul on Jimmy Butler — were costly in a game that had a one-point outcome.

“I’m going over to them respectfully and telling them what’s going on in the plays and I consistently go to the line three or four times a game. Sometimes not even at all, which is weird,” James said. “So, just got to keep driving, keep putting pressure on the rim and see if it turns. But we had some tough break calls tonight for sure. And not in our favor tonight.”

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