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Report: Anthony Davis could return to Lakers Friday vs. Pelicans

Michael Holley and Michael Smith talk with NBA writer Michael Pina about why LeBron James is still playing this season with the Lakers seemingly unable to secure a postseason spot.

If the playoffs started today, the Lakers would be watching them from vacation in Cancun.

Los Angeles fell to the No. 11 seed in the West with a loss to the Mavericks Tuesday night, a loss both Anthony Davis (sprained foot) and LeBron James (sprained ankle) missed. While both will be out Thursday when Los Angeles travels to Utah, the good news is Davis is targeting a Friday return for a critical game against the Pelicans, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Davis has averaged 23.1 points and 9.7 rebounds a game this season when healthy.

There is no word on when LeBron could return from his sprained ankle suffered Sunday in a loss to the Pelicans. Even with Davis, the Lakers struggle on offense without LeBron — L.A. has a -2.6 net rating in minutes with Davis but without LeBron this season, and their offense in those minutes would be third-worst in the league. The Lakers need LeBron’s shot creation.

The Lakers also need wins if they’re going to make the postseason.

The Lakers and Spurs are tied for the 10/11 seeds in the West at 31-44 (the Spurs have the tiebreaker) and the Pelicans are one game up on both of them. A win against the Pelicans would be a big boost for the Lakers’ postseason chances.