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Lakers face Cavaliers without Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo

Lakers face Cavaliers without Anthony Davis, Rajon Rondo

LOS ANGELES — Like it or not, the Lakers were delivered another opportunity to showcase their depth on Monday.

After winning a tough back-to-back set of road games despite being short-handed last week, they faced the Cleveland Cavaliers without Anthony Davis or Rajon Rondo.

Davis, their superstar forward, missed his third consecutive game with a bruised backside. Rondo, the veteran point guard off the bench, was out after suffering an injury to his right ring finger in the Lakers’ victory at Oklahoma State on Saturday.

Rondo had an MRI on Monday that revealed a non-displaced volar plate avulsion fracture of his right ring finger, the Lakers said. He’s listed as day-to-day.

“Rajon had been playing really well, so I’m disappointed for him,” Coach Frank Vogel said of the 33-year-old guard, who has also been hindered this season by a sore right calf, a mild right calf strain and a left hamstring strain.

“He’s gonna have to miss some time, but Quinn Cook played really well the other night. He’s gonna see some minutes at the backup (point guard). And we have Alex (Caruso) we can slide over there if we need to. Just have a next-man-up mentality.”

Rondo – who twice had to undergo surgery on his right hand last season, including to repair a severely sprained right ring finger – is averaging 7.6 points and 5.4 assists this season in 27 games.

Davis shot around before the game, but Vogel said the six-time All-Star remained too sore to play.

“(He was) closer than the other night, but still has some soreness,” Vogel said. “I don’t know if it’s gonna be, like, 100 percent pain-free. It’s really just gonna be day to day, and we’ll help communicate with the medical team. We want him as close to pain-free as possible.

“We’ve been without A.D. for a couple of games now, so hopefully we’ll find a little bit of a rhythm with the rotation and whatnot,” added Vogel, noting that third-year forward Kyle Kuzma would get the start again at power forward with Jared Dudley backing him up.

On the Lakers’ day off on Sunday, Davis and Rondo joined fellow Lakers Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and JaVale McGee at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc., where they watched the Packers host the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

Vogel said the medical team indicated Davis and Rondo’s attendance at the game wouldn’t be a factor in either player’s recovery. Nor, Vogel said, did their trip to Wisconsin play into the decision to skip shootaround before Monday’s game – that was a call intended to give his team an opportunity to sleep in after they returned late from their game in Oklahoma.

“They mentioned (going to the game) to (General Manager) Rob (Pelinka), and Rob mentioned it to me,” Vogel said. “It’s an off day and that’s something that we endorse.”

LASTING IMPACT

Coach John Beilein signed on to coach the Cavs last May, almost a year after LeBron James made the decision to leave Cleveland and sign with the Lakers.

Beilein said that even though their time didn’t overlap, he can register the ways in which James’ impact is lasting – in one major way, especially.

“Oh yeah,” Beilein said. “He brought to a great city, the city of Cleveland, a championship.”


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