Rival superstar's injury could have major impact on Warriors' playoff hopes

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors victory over the Utah Jazz wasn't the only piece of good news for the franchise on Sunday, with the Los Angeles Lakers defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves cutting the margin between the two teams in the Western Conference standings.

The tenth-seed Warriors are now 1.5 games back from the ninth-seed Lakers, but more concerning for the latter is an eye injury to Anthony Davis that saw the star big man sidelined for the final three-quarters of Sunday's game.

Anthony Davis' injury status could prove pivotal in the respective playoff chances of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers

Davis went up and completed a putback dunk late in the opening period, only for Timberwolves' forward Kyle Anderson to also collect him in the head during the process. The 31-year-old went to the locker room and didn't return as the Lakers, also minus LeBron James, fell 127-117 at home.

In his post-game press conference, Los Angeles head coach Darvin Ham was coy about Davis' status, stating that there were no updates but that it was the same eye injury suffered the last time the Lakers played the Warriors on March 16.

The two teams are set to face again on Tuesday at Crypto.com Arena in a game that could prove pivotal to each team's Play-In seeding, and therefore there chances of making the postseason.

Anthony Davis
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

In more positive news for the Lakers, ESPN's Dave McMenamin reported that there's optimism Davis will suit up for Tuesday's game, but needless to say the hosts won't pose as big a threat to the Warriors if the nine-time All-Star isn't in the lineup.

If Golden State can win Tuesday's game and their final three to close the regular season, and Los Angeles lose one of their last two, the Warriors would likely finish as the ninth-seed and host the first Play-In game.

There's still a slim chance Golden State could reach the eight-seed if the above scenario plays out, and if the Sacramento Kings were to lose three of their final four games. The Kings comfortably account for the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday ahead of meetings with the Thunder, Pelicans, Suns and Trail Blazers.

While Davis may be in some doubt for Tuesday's game, Stephen Curry is expected to return after resting from the 118-110 win over the Jazz. The Warriors will also hope to regain Andrew Wiggins who has missed two games with an ankle issue suffered against the Houston Rockets on Thursday.

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