CLEVELAND -- Los Angeles Lakers star big man Anthony Davis exited in the first half of Tuesday night's 116-102 loss to the Cavaliers with flu-like symptoms and did not return.
It is a non-COVID-19 illness, according to the team. Davis had a fever in the afternoon leading up to tipoff. After he was pulled from the game, the Lakers' training staff administered fluids and medications to Davis.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham said after the game that Davis was the only player on the team currently suffering from an illness.
"It progressively got worse," Ham said of Davis' sickness. "His temperature went over a 100, I believe it was 101 and some change. He said he was going to try and give it a go, which he did. But he just felt too weak, just too drained -- dehydrated a little bit. But it's that time of the season, in terms of wintertime, weather change, change of climate -- coming from L.A. going to these different places."
Davis joined the team on its flight to Toronto on Tuesday night, and his status for L.A.'s second leg of the back-to-back against the Raptors will be decided based on how he is feeling on Wednesday afternoon, Ham said. The Lakers are now 2-1 on their six-game road trip with games against Toronto, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Detroit Pistons remaining.
Davis totaled just one point, going 1-for-3 from the free throw line, with three rebounds and two assists in eight minutes Tuesday.
Despite his absence, the Lakers -- led by LeBron James' 21 points and season-high 17 rebounds -- made a game of it. The score was tied at 92 with 8 minutes, 32 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter before the Cavs blew it open with a 21-6 run over the next 5 minutes, 10 seconds. Cleveland won the season series 2-0, the first time that has happened to a James team in the nine years he has played against the Cavs.
Donovan Mitchell scored 17 of his 43 points in the fourth and was treated to "MVP" chants from the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse crowd -- a chant normally reserved for James all those years.
"He did a great job of penetrating our gaps and making some tough shots all night and got into a real good comfort," James said of Mitchell. "But, he's a special kid."
Davis came into the night on a tear, averaging 35.3 points on 64.8% shooting from the field, 45.5% from 3 and 88% from the foul line with 15.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in his past nine games.
He was named the NBA's Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday, having helped L.A. to a three-game winning streak coming into the Cavs game.
"Next man up," James said when asked how the Lakers (10-13) can withstand missing Davis. "But that's a tall task. Figuratively and literally for what AD has been doing for us over the last few weeks."
Thomas Bryant filled in Davis' minutes Tuesday with a season-high 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder scored 16 points apiece. Beyond Mitchell's brilliance, L.A. was done in by 16 turnovers compared to just eight for the Cavs, and the Lakers shot 6-for-36 (16.7%) from 3 as a team.
"My hat's off to our guys, man. They competed their hearts out. That's a huge blow, obviously," Ham said. "It was a tough challenge, but our guys competed. Disappointed, but I'm not upset. Our guys really competed."