DALLAS — LeBron James and Anthony Davis will both sit out Tuesday’s game against the Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
James has been dealing with a left ankle sprain since Sunday and Davis hasn’t played since Feb. 16, when he suffered a right midfoot sprain.
LA, clinging to a half-game lead over the No. 11 San Antonio Spurs for the final spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament, will enter into the crucial Mavs matchup without its stars.
“We identified right before that Pelicans game [Sunday] that these are our playoff games,” Vogel said. “The playoffs start for other teams when the actual regular season ends, but every game matters for us right now so there’s a playoff-series element to these final games.
“And you start talking about what the mindset is. The intensity is a notch higher. The focus has to be a notch higher. Every possession matters. No techs. No delay of games. You have to get every loose ball. You have to execute every coverage that’s controllable. All those things that go into competing in a playoff series, we talk about those things with our guys in the group.”
Vogel said both players would be reevaluated on Thursday to determine if they can play against the Utah Jazz on Thursday night.
The Lakers will trot out their 32nd different starting lineup of the season against Dallas, going with Austin Reaves, Stanley Johnson, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk and Russell Westbrook in the first five.