Anthony Davis back in Lakers’ starting lineup for Game 6


LOS ANGELES — Anthony Davis is in the Los Angeles Lakers’ starting lineup Thursday night as they face playoff elimination in Game 6 of their first-round series against the Phoenix Suns.

Davis missed the second half of Game 4 and all of Game 5 after the eight-time All-Star injured his groin last weekend at Staples Center. The defending NBA champion Lakers lost both games to fall to a 3-2 series deficit and the brink of an early postseason exit.

Davis scored 34 points apiece while leading the Lakers to victories in Games 2 and 3, but his tentative play in Game 1 was a key factor in Los Angeles’ series-opening loss. The oft-injured Davis already was limping on a balky knee before injuring his groin, and he missed 30 games during the regular season with various injuries.

Davis went through two days of rest and recovery before a pregame workout during which the Lakers’ medical staff determined he could play in Game 6. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Davis was determined to play, but wanted to be mobile enough to contribute.

“He’s doing everything he can to be in there,” Vogel said.

Lakers starting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also was in the lineup after missing Game 4 and playing just 15 minutes in Game 5 due to a bruised knee. Caldwell-Pope was the third-leading scorer on LA’s championship team and the Lakers’ best 3-point shooter this season, but he took just one shot in Game 5 before sitting out.

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