Lakers coach Frank Vogel, when asked about James' injury before the game, said the team is taking "a marathon approach" with him. Malik Monk started in James' place and had 17 points. Rajon Rondo had 8 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds in his return to the rotation.
Team medical staff evaluated James and made the decision to hold him out. James did not test the ankle out on the court Tuesday.
James missed 26 games last season with a high right ankle sprain, but Vogel said the Lakers star did not aggravate that injury.
"Same ankle. Different spot. Different injury," Vogel said.
L.A. plays the second leg of a back-to-back Wednesday in Oklahoma City, and Vogel did not rule out James' return against the Thunder.
"Questionable. Going to see how he feels," Vogel said. "He's just day to day, and he'll get evaluated again tomorrow and see what the soreness is like and make a decision then."
"He was doing his job flying in, and I was still kind of planted on the ground," Davis said. "He ran into my knee. Like a little stinger, a little stinger. And then started moving, it just kind of went away. I kept playing. Still felt it a little bit, but finished the game. And we'll see how it is when I wake up tomorrow."
Davis stayed in the game, playing the final 32.2 seconds of regulation after a timeout and all of the extra session, and finished with game highs of 35 points, 17 rebounds and 4 blocks in 43 minutes.
Like James, Davis' status for Wednesday's game in Oklahoma City is up in the air. He said he received ice and treatment on the knee in the locker room after the game but didn't undergo further evaluation.
"I mean, you're still going off of adrenaline and stuff right now," Davis said. "So you rest, then wake up, and all the adrenaline and stuff is gone, and your body starts reacting to the pain."
Monk credited Davis' toughness.
"He's a dog, man, he's never going to just back down from that," Monk said. "I was glad he wasn't hurt seriously, so big ups to AD."
Davis, who last season missed 36 of L.A.'s 72 regular-season games because of injuries and couldn't close out the playoffs because of an injured groin, said his offseason training is already paying off.
"I took a conscious effort in the weight room this summer," he said. "The injury could have been a lot worse if I didn't."