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Lakers lose AD to eye injury against Wolves

Anthony Davis left the Lakers' game against the Timberwolves late in the first quarter Sunday night after aggravating a left eye injury.



Lakers lose AD to eye injury against Wolves
Lakers lose AD to eye injury against Wolves
LOS ANGELES -- Anthony Davis aggravated a left eye injury and was ruled out of the second half of the Los Angeles Lakers' 127-117 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

Davis was inadvertently hit in the face by Wolves forward Kyle Anderson late in the first quarter when scoring off an offensive rebound. Davis immediately went to the floor after the play and covered his face with his hands.

The putback dunk gave L.A. a 35-30 lead with 24.2 seconds remaining in the first.

Davis went to the locker room for evaluation and did not return. He left the arena without speaking to reporters.

There is optimism that Davis will be able to return to the lineup Tuesday, a source familiar with the situation told ESPN.

Without Davis, the Wolves outscored the Lakers -- who also were without LeBron James (flu-like symptoms) -- 46-27 in the second quarter.

"He's extremely valuable," Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of Davis. "Everyone around here knows that. Everything he brings on both sides of the ball, it's tough. Already being without Bron and seeing him go out, it's tough. But my hat's off to our guys. They didn't feel sorry for themselves. They kept competing all the way through."

Backup big man Jaxson Hayes scored a season-high 19 points on 8-for-9 shooting and added 10 rebounds and a career-high 5 steals while filling in for Davis. His effort helped Los Angeles draw back within 4 points late in the third quarter before Minnesota pulled away again.

Davis suffered a corneal abrasion to his left eye during the Lakers' 128-121 loss to the Golden State Warriors on March 16.

The Lakers big man was struck in the eye by Warriors forward Trayce Jackson-Davis in the first quarter and similarly had to exit the game early.

The injury required Davis to seek medical attention from a specialist after his vision was temporarily impaired and his eyelid was swollen shut, sources told ESPN.

"I just couldn't see," Davis later explained. "The corneal abrasion was actually right in the middle of my eye. It wasn't like off to the side. So anytime I looked it was blurry. My eye was swollen. I thought my eye was like, [torn] open. But it wasn't. It kept watering. It just felt like sand was in my eye."

With Sunday's loss, L.A. dropped from the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference to the ninth, half a game behind the Sacramento Kings.

The Lakers have three games remaining in their regular-season schedule and host the West's No. 10 team, the Warriors, on Tuesday.

Minnesota, No. 1 in the West, won the season series 3-1 over the Lakers with Sunday's outcome.

Should the Lakers make it out of the play-in tournament, the Wolves are a realistic first-round opponent.

Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell, who was traded from Minnesota to L.A. last season, sounded confident that his team will get back on track for the postseason.

"I think we just finish this season strong, finish these games strong and whoever we match up with, we go full force," Russell said. "I don't think we care about the teams that are doing well versus how they're going to look in the playoffs. It's experience versus inexperience in the playoffs, that kind of gets you over the hump. So I like our chances versus anybody."