Lakers News: Frank Vogel Credits Anthony Davis For Playing Through Pain
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis suffered what looked like a hyperextended knee on a fastbreak layup during the second quarter of the team’s Game 3 win over the Phoenix Suns. He, the training staff and head coach Frank Vogel had several conversations about his ability to keep playing, and despite some pain, he gutted it out to finish the game.

Not only did he play almost the entire rest of the game after that injury — finishing with a team-high 40 minutes played — he also scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in what was his best game of the series. Clearly, the training staff decided that whatever his injury was, it wasn’t serious enough to keep him out, which is a positive sign for his status moving forward.

Vogel praised Davis for a great performance while playing through pain. “Just a gutsy, tough performance from a great player and we needed it. We needed him to stay in there to get the W. He knew that. He was going to do whatever it took for us to get this W. He had to play through pain. He’s limping up and down the floor a few times.

“We’re talking a few times with the staff and the medical team where we’re like we got to get him out. They’re saying he’s good to go if it’s just about playing through pain. Just a tough, tough performance by AD.”

Vogel admitted that he gave Davis several opportunities to come out of the game, but that All-Star refused them all.

“He didn’t want to come out of the game,” Vogel said. “I kept telling him at any point you get a little gassed, I’ve got a sub for you. We’ll get you back in when we need to. I think he asked at some point midway through the fourth to get a quick blow, but in terms of the third quarter where I had the most concern where he was limping pretty heavily.

“I had several different moments with our training staff saying it feels like we got to get him out and they’re like no he’s good to go and he wants to stay and it’s just about playing through pain. So we let him rock and obviously, he delivered a great performance for us.”

While Davis has carried an injury-prone narrative throughout his career, it’s clear that when it matters most, he’s going to be on the court. He played through a bad ankle injury during last season’s championship run and he’ll do the same again if he has to.

To play through pain and still be the best player on the court is a testament to just how dangerous Davis can be at his best.

Davis credits crowd for giving Lakers energy in Game 3

Thursday marked the first Lakers playoff game at Staples Center since 2013, and the limited capacity crowd did every bit to ensure their presence was felt.

“Staples Center was exactly what it needed to be,” Davis said. “Once it gets to full capacity, it’ll be even louder, but that’s what we wanted. We fed off the crowd tonight, especially during our runs. The crowd was loud and it gave us some extra energy to make shots and make some big plays defensively and ultimately win the game.

“We’re definitely going to need it Game 4 being an early game and some of us might still be a little asleep. It’s not the normal routine, so I know they’re going to come in full effect.”

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