“It was sore today and tight, and [we] wanted to see how it felt when he was moving around on the court and it didn’t really loosen up,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said before the game. “So that’s a cause for concern, and we wanted to make sure we played it safe, so he’s not going to be in tonight.”
It was the second time Davis sat out through the Lakers’ first 10 games of the season.
Davis, a perennial All-Star who signed a max contract extension during the offseason, is averaging 22.4 points and 9.1 rebounds this season, a slight dip in production from his maiden season in L.A. in 2019-20. However, he has enjoyed better efficiency, shooting a career-best 40% from 3-point range and watching his overall field goal percentage jump from 50.3% to 52.9%.
Vogel declared earlier in the season that Kyle Kuzma would be elevated to a starting role whenever Davis or LeBron James has to sit out. He went away from that strategy Friday, however, starting Markieff Morris in the frontcourt for Davis and keeping Kuzma in a reserve role.
Also, Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope sat out a fourth straight game because of a left ankle sprain.
“We’re hopeful that this is the last game he misses,” Vogel said. “He’s turning the corner, he’s getting close.”
Wes Matthews started in the backcourt for Caldwell-Pope, alongside Dennis Schroder.