Avery Bradley missed the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Utah Jazz with knee soreness, joining Kendrick Nunn and Carmelo Anthony on the sidelines.
Bradley’s absence came at an unfortunate time, as his defensive skills seemed invaluable in a matchup with Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, and the red-hot Jazz offense.
Mitchell ended the night with 37 points, but the Lakers still beat Utah and improved their record to 27-31 in the last game before the All-Star break. Head coach Frank Vogel said the mid-season intermission should be long enough for Bradley to return from his injury.
“It’s just swelling,” Vogel said. “They do not believe it’s anything long term and we’re hopeful that the time off during the break will be enough to get him back.”
The Lakers will return on the court on Friday, Feb. 25, taking on the L.A. Clippers. While Bradley and Anthony should be back with the team, the Purple and Gold will likely have to cope without Anthony Davis, who badly sprained his ankle in the first half of the win over the Jazz.
X-ray showed no bone fracture in Davis’ ankle, but the injury was serious enough the forward had to use crutches to move around. The Lakers said they would re-evaluate the 28-year-old when the team reconvenes after the All-Star break.
Nunn’s bone bruise should heal by late March, allowing the guard to finally make his season debut.
Vogel praises Lakers for rallying back after Davis’ injury ‘deflated’ them
Vogel said Davis’ freak ankle sprain “deflated” the Lakers initially, leading to the Jazz building a double-digit lead in the third quarter. But L.A. rallied back late in the game, inspired by LeBron James’ fourth-quarter takeover.
Vogel praised his players for their response to losing one of their leaders to a bad injury.
“Our plan has been with A.D. in big minutes role with us and playing around him a lot, so you have to make adjustments,” the head coach said.
“We came out of the second half a little bit flat for all those reasons but credit our guys. They’re really hanging in there and continuing to fight even when we seem to be deflated a little bit to start the half.”
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