Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis leaves Game 4 loss to Phoenix Suns with groin strain

LOS ANGELES -- Anthony Davis missed the second half of the Lakers' 100-92 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday with a strained left groin, presenting the first real challenge in the defending champs' bid for a repeat title.

A source told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Davis will be day-to-day on a return.

Davis missed a layup with 48.3 seconds remaining in the second quarter and collapsed to the floor after landing. He was slow to get up, clutching at his groin area while play continued on the other end of the court, and did not return to the game after halftime.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said after the game that Davis -- who did not speak to reporters -- is undergoing further evaluation and "we'll have more information [Monday]."

"You know, he's one of the best players in the world, so you have to adjust," Vogel said. "And I thought we gave great effort trying to overcome that loss, but it certainly wasn't enough."

The best-of-seven series is tied 2-2. Game 5 is on Tuesday.

LeBron James, who finished with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 turnovers, was asked if he is prepared to take on a bigger role if Davis is limited going forward.

"For me, it's putting our team in position to be successful," James said. "It starts with my approach, my accountability, trickles down to everybody else. So, you know, these shoulders are built for a reason. If it takes for me to put some more on top of it, then so be it. Win, lose or draw, I'm ready for the challenge."

Los Angeles went 11-7 during the regular season when James played and Davis did not, though among those games, the Lakers were just 1-6 versus teams that went on to make the playoffs.

Phoenix pushed its lead to as many as 18 points with 9:19 remaining before the Lakers made a push, getting back within seven points when Dennis Schroder's layup attempt with 1:31 left rolled off the rim. The Suns rebounded the miss and promptly passed it ahead to Jae Crowder, who hit a wing 3 to put Phoenix back up 10 and kill the rally.

Davis came into the game playing on a sprained left knee that he suffered in Game 3, when he landed awkwardly after executing a chase-down block on Suns star Devin Booker.

He averaged 34 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2 blocks in Games 2 and 3 of the series to give the seventh-seeded Lakers a 2-1 lead over the No. 2 Suns. Davis finished Game 4 with six points on 2-for-9 shooting with four rebounds in 19 minutes.

Kyle Kuzma started the third quarter in Davis' place and finished with 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting.

The Lakers also played without Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who was ruled out prior to the contest with a sore left knee. Los Angeles had seemingly found its footing, having won eight out of nine games culminating with a 14-point win in Game 3, but Sunday's chain of events brought to mind the snakebit nature of the Lakers' regular season.

"Obviously, we've been derailed this year, but at the same time, we've been through it," Kuzma said. "So we just got to figure it out. Just got to figure it out."

Kuzma said the Lakers were "optimistic still" but expressed that Davis' absence clearly mucked up the game plan, with Phoenix outscoring Los Angeles 27-15 in the third quarter when the big man didn't emerge from the halftime locker room.

"We're tailor-made toward one type of basketball when AD is out there," Kuzma said. "And obviously, he wasn't out there."

The Suns have their own injury woes, with Chris Paul dealing with a right shoulder contusion pretty much the entire series after a Game 1 collision with teammate Cameron Johnson. Paul played by far his finest game since the injury, finishing with 18 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals.

James and Paul became the first opponents age 35 or older in NBA history -- regular season or playoffs -- to lead their team in points and assists, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"We kept on fighting back and got stops after stop after stop and still made it a game," James said. "But they played well. I tip my hat to them. They came in, played extremely well. And it's going to be a big-time Game 5 come Tuesday."