Anthony Davis leaves Lakers season finale with back spasm, accuses Larry Nance Jr. of 'dangerous play'

The Los Angeles Lakers won their season finale 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 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lakers secured the No. 8 seed in the West with the win to set up a rematch with the 7th-seeded Pelicans in a play-in game on Tuesday.

Davis said after the game that he's optimistic that the injury won't 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 that he'll be able to play in Tuesday's play-in game against the Pelicans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Anthony Davis is confident that he'll be able to play in Tuesday's play-in game against the Pelicans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Davis lands awkwardly, tweaks back

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

Davis remained on the court until the next stoppage in play, then clutched his lower back. He then walked to the sideline and laid down in an apparent effort to stretch out his ailing back.

He eventually left for the locker room and didn't return to the game. Los Angeles led 114-94 when he checked out.

Davis: 'Obviously, it's a dangerous play'

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

"He gave me a little shove in the back," Davis said. "My back just locked up on me. Nothing concerning.

"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 get shoved in the back. Hyperextension. It just locks up. Nothing that concerns me, though. ...

"No doubt that I'm gonna play. Just see how it feels the rest of the day; I'll have to get massages, get some treatment ... keep loose. 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 have to fly. The Lakers will remain in New Orleans ahead of Tuesday's game.

The winner of Tuesday's game will secure 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 game on Friday with the No. 8 seed at stake.