Lakers vs. Celtics preview: Anthony Davis and LeBron James ruled out

Anthony Davis #3 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Thursday night brings a rematch between two storied rival franchises – the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. However, the evening's marquee Lake Show will be without two stars after it was announced LeBron James and Anthony Davis have been ruled out.

Davis remains out with an injury to his Achilles as well as left hip spasms, and James will miss the game with left ankle pain. For James, it’s the same injury that kept him out of the Lakers’ most recent matchup against the LA Clippers. This is the first time this season both All-Stars have been out at the same time. 

Since winning the league’s inaugural in-season tournament, the Lakers have struggled as fans have expressed concerns on social media over the body language of certain players.

In addition, James was visibly frustrated following Tuesday night’s loss in Atlanta, saying he had no words of encouragement for his teammates. His advice? "Just go out and do your job."


The Lakers hold onto the ninth seed in the Western Conference, which puts them in play-in tournament territory. Meanwhile, the Celtics have only lost 11 games this season and sit atop the Eastern Conference. 

So far, the Lakers have yet to make any moves ahead of next week’s trade deadline. 

The Lakers and Celtics last saw each other on Christmas Day 2023.

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Ahead of the season, the NBA announced its plan to tackle load management. Teams could be fined for resting their stars in certain situations such as nationally televised games. Thursday night's game is scheduled to air on TNT at 4:30 p.m. PT from the TD Garden.

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Earlier Thursday, league officials announced the New Orleans Pelicans and Philadelphia 76ers were fined for violating the league’s injury reporting rules.