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Injured Davis sidelined for Lakers' clash with Mavericks

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis was ruled out of the NBA Western Conference leaders' Friday game at Dallas as he continued to recover from a hard fall taken Tuesday.

The Lakers said Thursday that an MRI exam showed Davis had suffered a "gluteous maximus contusion" when he fell heavily on his lower back in the Lakes' 117-86 home win over the New York Knicks.

Although the soft-tissue injury is less serious than the bone bruise the team initially feared, Davis was apparently still feeling it and the team opted to hold him out of the game even though he made the trip to Dallas.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel, who said he would start Kyle Kuzma in place of Davis, acknowleged that it would be a big change for the Lakers, but said it would be a "great opportunity for Kuzma to step into the starting lineup and play a bigger role."

Superstar LeBron James was listed as "probable" to play in Dallas, although he has been battling flu-like symptoms. Avery Bradley was "questionable" with a fever.

The Lakers took a 30-7 record into the contest in Dallas, their fourth and final regular-season meeting with the Mavericks, who at 23-14 were in sixth in the West.

The Lakers won two of three prior meetings, including a 108-95 home win on December 29.

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