NBA Playoffs: Anthony Davis’ status in question as Warriors head into Game 6 with competitive stubbornness

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San Francisco – Chase drove cautiously out of center Without speaking to the media, looking straight ahead after taking an unintentional shot to the head from Keon Looney and opening the door for questions about his status for the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers' playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

An increasingly sticky series, it must be said. It hasn't reached the point of disdain or controversial, but both sides are feeling the urgency of the moment — the Warriors are feeling the heat of potential elimination after dropping two straight games in Los Angeles.

Key figures with the Lakers seem optimistic Davis will recover, but there seems to be a long way between Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals and now — 48 hours, almost exactly.

The Warriors staved off elimination — at least for one night, deciding they wanted another tangle with the Lakers with a 121-106 Game 5 win on Wednesday night. If the Lakers believed the Warriors were wavering and didn't want to give them any life, they took the proper approach than won the series, where they also led 3–1.

It turns out the Warriors are as competitively stubborn as advertised, and much more of a front-running, free-wheeling team than they've been made out to be. They'll have one more opportunity to extend their streak to 28 series with at least one win on the road, and if they do, we'll be back in the chase for a seventh game on Sunday afternoon.

They took a share from the Lakers on Wednesday, with LeBron James playing 39 minutes and Davis playing 32 minutes with 7:34 remaining in the fourth and the Lakers down by 14.

Davis, who scored 23 with 9 rebounds, initially held his head before being escorted to the locker room area and slowly walked to the bench, as TNT reported that he was placed in a wheelchairPerhaps giving a premonition of a trauma victim.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis sits on the bench following an apparent injury during the second half of Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinal series against the Golden State Warriors on May 10, 2023 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vasquez)

“I didn't see the shot. I just saw the result,” said James, who led the Lakers with 25 points and 9 rebounds. “But the medical team said he is doing better. That's what matters most.”

Lakers coach Darwin Hamm also didn't reveal much, but the Lakers locker room certainly had some long faces as the game ended. There's no way to predict one way or the other, what kind of hit he took. And the NBA, despite having a concussion policy, doesn't have as much experience as its counterpart, the NFL.

Ham said, “Obviously, everyone saw that he was shot in the head, but we just checked that out.” “It looks like he's already doing really well. He's right there. That's where it is right now.”

Hamm would not take any other questions on Davis, but was clearly annoyed at the Lakers taking 15 free throws after taking 20 in Game 4 and 37 in Game 3.

Ham said, “I mean we played like we always play.” “I don't know. I don't know what's wrong now.”

Quietly, the platitudes and respect thrown both ways at the start of the series seem to have dissipated, with not much to follow.

“I've seen it worse. But the more you play a team, the more stuff comes out,” Stephen Curry said. “And the power of this microphone and the sportsmanship back and forth. Like it's all a part of that. Nothing amazing. Even from game to game. So, I mean, there's respect, but there's competition. And all Something goes into just trying to win four games. That's what you expect, so yeah.

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Steve Kerr's belief about the Lakers' so-called flopping stemmed from moving screen calls on his team, particularly Draymond Green.

But the way the comments are presented and sent the Lakers' way, it has been interpreted as Kerr and the Warriors talking about foul-line disparity in this series. The Lakers take the most free throws in the , and the Warriors the fewest – so the results were bound to be unbalanced, regardless of the outcome.

However, the fire has been stoked with Hot Tech machines on every corner, and it's obscuring a very impressive chess match from the two coaches.

The Warriors are no longer avoiding Davis and his shadowy presence on defense. They're using their aggression against him and that put Green and Andrew Wiggins under center.

Green was as aggressive on both ends as he has been since Game 2, his second win in the series. Even though he was called upon to defend Davis on the first possession, he never gave up. It was the 15th game in his career with 20 points or more, and the Warriors are now 10-5 in those contests.

Kerr said that Wiggins played his best game since his two-month personal leave, Wiggins scored 25 with 7 rebounds and 5 assists, as Davis again guarded him for long periods.

“We ask a lot of him defensively and in any series he is going to end up on the opponent's best player. That's LeBron,” Kerr said. “Way [Wiggins] Attacked, the way he gets to the rim, it adds another dimension to our attack.”

Curry and Klay Thompson again struggled from the 3, but Thompson played strong defense on Reeves and D'Angelo Russell, while Curry again played masterfully with 8 assists for only 2 turnovers.

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Curry scored 27, hit some big baskets in the fourth when the Lakers were trying to make it a game, and helped close the second quarter with a buzzer-beating triple that put the Warriors up by 11.

Not seeing the Lakers turn it around probably wasn't disappointing enough, especially since the Warriors have made a habit of letting double-digit leads slip away, but they probably needed a win like this to know they could move into the game. can take. This team physically.

“Offensive, attacking on both sides of the floor,” Green said. “I think that was my mindset from the gate.

“The way teams are dominating Steph and Kel, they are selling those guys out and trying to take them out of the game. We get paid a lot of money to do this, so you can't just sit back and watch them.

And you can't let James dictate the terms of the engagement, even if he “slips” to the All-NBA Third Team because it was announced hours before game time. Wiggins walked the delicate line of picking up James Fulcourt, while also giving him space not to open up the driving lane.

He learns that James is a master of manipulation, playing Possum's power.

“I guess you never really know,” Wiggins said. “You might think he's tired and the next play he might come down and get a put-back dunk and you'll never know.”

You would never know about this Warriors team. Or Friday with Davis, or how the rest of this series will shake itself out.

Looks like it should go seven games, but you never know.

buckle up.