After receiving an MRI on his right calf in Denver on Monday that showed no signs of rupture, the Lakers will sit him out Tuesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves and team doctors will re-evaluate Davis upon his return to L.A. ESPN reported that the 6-foot-10 All-NBA big man could miss as many as nine games leading into the All-Star break on March 5.,But for the Lakers, defending the title is paramount over short-term concerns, and even Davis recognized that on Sunday night when he spoke to the media after the injury, which the team is calling a “right calf strain.”,The Lakers first acknowledged that Davis was dealing with pain in his calf on Feb. 8, when the team announced he would miss that night’s game against Oklahoma City with tendonosis in his right Achilles.,Going into Sunday’s game against the Nuggets, Davis said he had been feeling “completely fine,” up until the point that he bumped legs with Nikola Jokic on a drive late in the second quarter.,Vogel expressed confidence Sunday that the Lakers wouldn’t expect a drop-off even if Davis missed significant time: “We’re gonna win games, that’s the first thing we’re gonna do.”
Leonard was sidelined with a left lower leg contusion; Paul George missed his fifth consecutive game with what’s being classified as bone edema in a right toe.,Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said he didn’t know when Leonard’s injury occurred of what his prognosis was — or what George’s is either, for that matter.,“I’m not sure, but it happened on this road trip,” Lue said of Leonard’s contusion, noting that he just learned he’d miss the game Sunday.,And in the past four games with out George, Leonard has increased his offensive output, averaging 29.3 points, shooting 51.2% from the field.,The Clippers are 1-1 so far when they’ve had to play without both Leonard and George — who currently rank third and fifth among Western Conference vote-getters in fan voting for the All-Star Game.
The Lakers have trailed after the last four first quarters, and they made dubious history Friday by becoming the third team in the past 20 seasons to make consecutive comebacks after trailing by 20 points.,They’ve also shot under 45% in the last three games in the first quarter, and against Memphis, they took only one shot at the rim in the first five minutes of the game (the Grizzlies had already taken nine shots in the paint).,There’s a departure here from the culture the Lakers established last season, when they were the wire-to-wire leaders in the Western Conference and smashed opponents in games even when they didn’t have James or Davis available.,But getting behind early also seems to engage some of the Lakers’ best players, including James, who started Friday’s game as ugly as anyone.,JAMES, KUZMA GET FLOP WARNINGS
The league officially warned James and Kuzma after both players flopped during Friday night’s game in plays involving Dillon Brooks.
Aldridge missed San Antonio's first two tight losses against the Lakers, but was on fire and led five Spurs in double-figure scoring.,Most of Aldridge's shots were found in the flow of the offense, spacing the floor or cutting to the basket without the ball.,Aldridge hit an elbow jumper, and after an Anthony Davis layup drilled a triple to put the Spurs up 12-2.,Rudy Gay hit an impossible-seeming desperation jumper over Anthony Davis in the post, then knocked down the open three that he's struggled with this season off a sliding pass from Patty.,Aldridge's tear continued in the period, but the Lakers kept it close with LeBron assisting on 19 of the first 23 in the period for Los Angeles.
Hiring the longtime college coach with three national championships signifies a new direction for a franchise that has lost 105 of 144 games since Khan took over in 2012.,In other NFL news:
—Quarterback Jared Goff will start the Los Angeles Rams’ playoff game at Green Bay on Saturday, and John Wolford will be inactive.,—Four stars from Alabama’s national championship team, including Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Mac Jones, are leaving early to enter the NFL draft.,Keller was charged Wednesday in federal court in Washington after a video emerged that appeared to show him among those storming the Capitol last champion Rollins-McNeal suspended in doping case
Before the Rockets agreed to send James Harden to the Nets as part of a blockbuster four-team deal, the 76ers were long considered the favorites to acquire the former MVP because they had a piece no other team could offer: Ben Simmons.,Houston had reportedly been seeking a young franchise cornerstone as part of any Harden package, and Simmons fit that description better than any other player that was realistically available.,The Rockets reportedly wanted Simmons, picks and other players in a potential deal with the Sixers — Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle were part of discussions — and even for a superstar like Harden, that’s a high asking price.,He was told Irving could hypothetically be part of a transaction that allows the Nets to obtain multiple first-round picks, or he could only be attached in a trade as filler.,Now Brooklyn will move forward with a “Big Three” of Harden, Irving and Kevin Durant, while Philadelphia will focus on building around Simmons and Embiid.