LeBron James says replacing the injured Anthony Davis will be a "collective group effort" for the Los Angeles Lakers as he recorded his own fourth straight 30-point game in Sunday's 119-117 win over the Washington Wizards.
The Lakers will reportedly be without All-Star Davis for a month after scans revealed a foot injury having limped out of Friday's win over the Denver Nuggets.
Davis, who has been plagued by injuries in recent seasons, had been enjoying an outstanding campaign, averaging 27.4 points and a career-high 12.1 rebounds per game.
All five of the Lakers' starters scored double figures on Sunday, with Lonnie Walker adding 21 points, while center Thomas Bryant contributed 16 points with 10 rebounds, including the game-winning dunk. Dennis Schroder and Austin Reaves each scored 12 points.
"Whoever is available to play, we have to make plays," James, who scored 33 points with seven rebounds and nine assists, told reporters.
"We're all NBA players and we have to go out and trust the game plan the coaches put out there. Tonight, we were able to do that for the majority of the game."
Davis only played 76 times across the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons due to injury, while James, now 37, regularly missed games last season too.
"It's going to be a collective group effort," James said about covering Davis' absence. "It's always been health with us, since we all joined forces.
"It's always about health. If we can stay healthy or close to and have guys on the floor available, we're going to give ourselves a chance to win because we're going to play hard, play the right way."
James came up with the game-winning play with a pass for Bryant's tie-breaking dunk with 7.1 seconds remaining, although the four-time MVP almost lost the ball in midcourt in the lead-up. Kyle Kuzma missed a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left.
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham declined to confirm reports on Davis' timeline after the game.
"We'll probably have something out official tomorrow," Ham said. "He saw some doctors tonight, so we'll see."
Tie game. Seven seconds left. Thomas Bryant wins it off the wild play pic.twitter.com/RLCQdb0uMt— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 19, 2022