Anthony Davis leaves game early versus Trail Blazers

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Anthony Davis leaves game early versus Trail Blazers

Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis didn't play in the last three quarters of the game against the Los Angeles Clippers but he expects to be play the critical game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Davis tweaked his ankle in the first quarter but afterward claimed the real issue was his back.

"The back locked up pretty bad," Davis said, per ESPN. The Lakers are currently sixth on the Western Conference standings as they have an identical record as the seventh-ranked Portland Trail Blazers. "I think we've just got to win the game, for real, for real," Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said.

Davis suggests the Lakers could use the play-in tournament

"I mean, we don't look at it as something bad," Davis said. "To be honest, we need a lot of games. We need games to get back accustomed to each other, anyway.

"Obviously, we don't want to go that route. But if it happens, it happens. We're gonna win games in the play-in and then get ready for whoever we play in the first round and take care of business from there. So, we look at it as game reps in the play-in.

And if not, then we got a little bit more practice time to get accustomed to each other. So, either way, we're fine either way." Meanwhile, Markieff Morris said: "I think I've said before, we wasn't thinking about the damn play-in game.

If it happens, it happens. If we're healthy, s---, I would want to avoid us if I was the top two teams." Lakers coach Frank Vogel doesn't want to think too much about the play-in tournament. "The play-in tournament is out of my control," Vogel said Thursday.

"If we're in it, we'll compete and we'll win those games so that we can try to advance. Whether we should have one or not is really not up to me. So I don't spend too much time or thought on whether it's good or not."

Elsewhere, Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic said he has to stop complaining too much. "I realize it," Doncic said. "It's something that I'm not supposed to do. [It's difficult] with all the emotions in games, but obviously I've got to stop.

It's just hard for me on the court with all the emotions, but I realize it and I've got to work on this. It's tough to do it, but I've got to work on it and be way better than this."