Anthony Davis exits Lakers-Cavs game with flu-like symptoms, does not return

Anthony Davis left Tuesday night’s game in Cleveland late in the first quarter with flu-like symptoms and did not return.

CLEVELAND (AP) — The flu paralyzed Anthony Davis. It’s the only thing that’s been stopping him lately.

Davis was forced to leave Los Angeles’ game against the Cleveland Cavaliers after Tuesday night’s first quarter, and the Lakers struggled without their all-star center in a 116-102 loss.

Davis had 99 points in his previous two games and was in tears for the past 10 years as the Lakers went 8-2 to erase most of a terrible start this season. He scored just one point in eight minutes before being forced to leave.

Davis didn’t attempt a shot while adding three rebounds and two assists before being forced to call it a night.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham said Davis’ symptoms gradually worsened throughout the day.

“His temperature was 101 and some change,” Ham said. “AD wanted to try to play but he felt too weak. He’s drained and dehydrated. It’s obviously a big loss considering how he’s been playing lately.”

Ham said Davis likely won’t play in Toronto on Wednesday. He also stressed Davis did not test positive for COVID-19.

“Because of COVID, people forget there’s a common cold and a common flu out there,” Ham said. “That’s what we’re dealing with here.”

The eight-time All-Star, who has played just 76 games over the past two seasons through injury, was named NBA Western Conference Player of the Week Monday after averaging 37.8 points, 13.0 rebounds, 3, 0 assists and 3.3 blocks.

In his last 10 games, the 29-year-old averaged 34.2 points and 15.4 rebounds. He also shot 63% from the ground and 86% from the free throw line.

Davis scored 55 points and added 17 rebounds and three blocked shots in Sunday night’s win in Washington. He lost 44 points in the previous game against Milwaukee.

Without him, the Lakers lacked a central defensive presence and Cavs center Jarrett Allen had 24 points, 22 in the first half on 10-of-11 shooting.

Trying to close the gap, LeBron James grabbed 17 rebounds — his most in a road game to date. Reserve Thomas Bryant replaced Davis and had a season-high 19 points in 28 minutes, but Los Angeles couldn’t make up for Davis’ loss.

“It’s a tall order,” James said. “Literally and figuratively.”