Despite aggravating a right heel contusion that bothered him throughout the Los Angeles Lakers’ 111-108 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Friday, Lakers forward Anthony Davis offered some comforting words on his availability for Game 6.
“I’ll be fine Sunday,” Davis said.
Davis appeared to be in pain after Heat forward Andre Iguodala bumped into him with 48.4 seconds left in the first quarter. After staying on the ground, Davis eventually limped toward the bench and sat out for the remaining 48.4 seconds. He then entered the game with 8:30 left in the second quarter and eventually finished with 28 points while shooting 9-of-15 from the field and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line along with 12 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks in 42 minutes.
“It just wore off and got back to normal,” Davis said. “I kept moving around and tried not to sit down and get the adrenaline going. I was able to keep going and keep playing.”
Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers goes down on the court during the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the 2020 NBA Finals on Oct. 9, 2020. (Photo: Sam Greenwood, Getty Images)
Davis said he first injured his right heel during the Lakers’ five-game series against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals. Though he played through the pain since the original injury, Davis looked noticeably uncomfortable late in Friday night's Game 5.
Davis still made a crucial putback that gave the Lakers a 108-107 lead with 21.8 seconds left. But Davis was called for a controversial foul while defending Jimmy Butler at the rim, a play Lakers coach Frank Vogel questioned as it led to Butler making two foul shots for a 109-108 lead with 16.9 seconds left. But as Vogel admitted, Davis “was struggling to move a little bit” amid other late-game stretches so the Lakers put LeBron James on Butler.
Still, Vogel praised Davis that he “toughed it out.” He missed a combined nine games this season because of an injury around his glutes (five), a sore right knee (two), a sprained right ankle (one) and a sore right shoulder (one). But the Lakers have respected Davis for playing through pain and quickly recovering from various falls.
“He’s a warrior, man. Being out there hobbled, it brings a lot more confidence to myself and our team,” James said. “We know the nicks, bumps and bruises he’s played through throughout the whole season. We have to pick it up for him and pick it up for any of our brothers if they’re hobbling or not at their full strength. That just makes us a stronger brotherhood.”
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