Anthony Davis leaves Lakers season finale with back spasms, accuses Larry Nance Jr. of ‘dangerous play’

The Los Angeles Lakers won their season finale on Sunday, but suffered a potential blow in the process when center Anthony Davis left the game with a back spasm.

Davis left the game with less than six minutes remaining in the Lakers’ 123-103 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers earned the eighth seed in the West with the win, allowing them to set up a rematch with the seventh-seeded Pelicans in a play-in game on Tuesday.

Davis said after the game that he was optimistic that his injury would not sideline him for Tuesday’s game. He also accused Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr. of a “dangerous play” that led to his injury.

Anthony Davis is confident he will be able to play in Tuesday’s game against the Pelicans. (AP Photo/Gérald Herbert)

Davis lands awkwardly, rolls back

Davis appeared to suffer the injury after landing after attempting a putback layup. Nance appeared to make grazing contact with Davis while Davis was in the air.

Davis stayed on the field until the next stoppage in play, then grabbed his lower back. He then walked to the sideline and lay down in an apparent effort to stretch his ailing back.

He finally left for the locker room and did not return to the match. Los Angeles led 114-94 when he started.

Davis: “It’s obviously a dangerous game”

After the game, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham told reporters that Davis suffered a “spasm” that he described as “nothing serious” and that he is “extremely optimistic” that Davis will play on Tuesday. Davis echoed Ham’s optimism while accusing Nance of “dangerous play.”

“He gave me a little pat on the back,” Davis said. “My back locked on me. Nothing to worry about.

“I was in the air. So obviously it’s a dangerous play. I know he’s not a dirty player. But I’m in the air and then I get pushed in the back. Hyperextension. That crashes. Nothing that concerns me, though…

“I’m definitely going to play. Just see how I feel the rest of the day; I’m going to have to get massages, get treatment… stay free. See how I feel over the next 24, 36 hours and get ready for Tuesday.

The good news for Davis is that he doesn’t need to steal. The Lakers will remain in New Orleans before Tuesday’s game.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will earn the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and a matchup with the No. 2 seed Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. The loser will face an elimination match on Friday with the No. 8 seed on the line.

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