Basketball

Anthony Davis' back injury sullies LA Lakers' win over NY Knicks

Los Angeles forward to undergo further testing on back, James steps up with 31 points against the Knicks

The Los Angeles Lakers' 117-87 victory over the New York Knicks at the Staples Center yesterday morning (Singapore time) was marred by injury to forward Anthony Davis.

Davis' involvement in the game ended with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter when he landed hard on the floor, after losing his balance in a collision with the Knicks' Julius Randle under the basket.

The 26-year-old finished with five points on two-of-eight shooting, six rebounds and three steals in 28 minutes. He also had two blocks after recording eight blocks on Sunday against the Detroit Pistons.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said the X-rays on Davis' lower back were negative and the plan was for him to undergo further testing, with the team providing an update today.

"We're just hoping and praying for the best right now," Vogel said.

"He's one of our pillars. He's our present. He's our future. He's one of the best players in the world, so he obviously means a lot."

The six-time All-Star big man entered the game averaging 27.7 points and 9.5 rebounds for the Western Conference-leading Lakers (30-7), who acquired Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans in the off-season for a package that included forward Brandon Ingram, point-guard Lonzo Ball and combo-guard Josh Hart.

Leading 26-21 after the first quarter, the Lakers opened up a double-digit advantage in the second.

A bucket by rookie guard RJ Barrett allowed the Knicks to close the deficit to 32-30 less than three minutes into the quarter, but the Lakers closed the half with a 30-15 surge for a 62-45 advantage at the break.

In the third, Los Angeles increased the margin to 21 points before taking an 85-70 edge heading into the fourth quarter.

Their 11-3 run to open the fourth gave the Lakers a 96-73 lead after a bucket by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

LeBron James, who was a game-time decision because of an illness, scored 31 points, including six of the Lakers' 17 three-pointers.

Kyle Kuzma scored 16 points, Caldwell-Pope had 15 and Avery Bradley added 12 for the Lakers, who won their sixth straight game.

Barrett top scored for the Knicks with 19 points, while Randle had 15 points and 10 rebounds. - REUTERS

SELECTED RESULTS:

Toronto 99 Portland 101, Brooklyn 103 Oklahoma City 111 (OT), Memphis 119 Minnesota 112

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