Anthony Davis is still shaking off the rust.
The Los Angeles Lakers, however, hope it doesn’t take their eight-time All-Star forward much longer to find his rhythm.
With only 12 games left before the postseason, Davis’ next chance comes Monday night when the Lakers (35-25) bid to snap a three-game losing streak against the host Orlando Magic.
Davis scored 17 points on Saturday night in a 108-93 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, but made only 5 of 19 shots from the field and missed all six of his 3-point attempts.
“Obviously you want to make those shots in perfect situations,” Davis said. “But when you haven’t played in a long time, that rhythm gets thrown off. … It’s a tough spot that I’m in, but that’s no excuse.”
Davis is still on a minutes restriction as he works his way back from right calf and heel issues which forced him to miss 30 games before returning on Thursday. Davis played 28 minutes on Saturday and struggled down the stretch, only making one of his final five shots.
The Lakers, who are still without LeBron James, were also without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope due to a sprained right ankle. The loss pulled Dallas to within 1 1/2 games of the Lakers for fifth place in the Western Conference.
“It’s going to be a work in progress,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s playing with a new teammate in Andre Drummond. He’s got to get his legs under him. It’s going to be a little disjointed at times. Hopefully it doesn’t cost us too many games.”
The Magic (18-42) lost their fifth consecutive game on Sunday when they fell 131-112 at home against the Indiana Pacers. But that setback paled in comparison to the loss of rookie guard Devin Cannady, who sustained an open fracture of his right ankle in the first quarter when he landed awkwardly while trying to contest a layup by Edmond Sumner.
Losing Cannady, who was part of the Lakeland Magic’s G League championship team this year, hurts in a season where Orlando is rebuilding for the future. Cannady was set to undergo surgery on Sunday night.
“Sickening,” said assistant Tyrone Corbin, who guided the Magic with coach Steve Clifford forced to sit out after testing positive for COVID-19. “It’s just sickening to see him go down like that. We’re praying for him.”
Dwayne Bacon led the shorthanded Magic with 20 points and Wendell Carter Jr. had 10 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando, which has the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
Any chance the Magic had of pulling off the upset faded in the third quarter. They were outscored 41-20 during the session.
“Defensively, we didn’t take anything away from these guys,” Corbin said. “They got it all and when we’re rebuilding we have to understand that we can’t give up effort baskets.”
The Lakers had center Marc Gasol back against Dallas after he missed three games because of a broken left finger. L.A. expects to have Caldwell-Pope back against Orlando, but Dennis Schroder is listed as questionable with left calf soreness.
–Field Level Media