DALLAS - Anthony Davis made his return from injury against the Dallas Mavericks during the Los Angeles Lakers' 115-110 loss on Thursday. He ended up playing only during the opening half of this performance.
Davis entered his return to the lineup facing a limit of 15 minutes and he slightly exceeded that mark with 17. He struggled offensively during his time on the floor as he recorded 4 points while going 2-of-10 (20.0%) from the floor.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel told reporters that Davis 'responded well' after playing his first game since Feb. 14. As a result, Los Angeles will increase his limit to the '25-minute range' for Saturday's matchup with the Mavericks.
After Thursday's game, Davis told ESPN Staff Writer Dave McMenamin that he didn't think about his injury once while playing. He never felt as though it limited him on any moves and not once felt the need to hesitate.
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"I didn't think about it one time tonight," Davis said. "Honestly, I just went out there and played. I think it can limit what you do if you're out there thinking about your injury, so I just went out and played and not think about it. Just go out there and have fun and be excited to be back on the floor. That was my main thing. I was just excited to be back on the floor with the guys, so I never thought about it. I never did a limit to any moves. Wasn't hesitant with anything, so that was a good sign for me."
Vogel also noted how the Lakers plan to preserve Davis' playing time throughout this game in order to have him available for the final six minutes down the stretch.
The Mavericks have a variety of key players on the injury report of their own. Kristaps Porzingis (left ankle sprain), Maxi Kleber (low back contusion), and Josh Richardson (right hamstring tightness) all were initially designated as questionable before tipoff.
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle later mentioned pre-game that Porzingis and Richardson will be sidelined for this outing. However, Kleber will be available to play.