Every game still matters for the Los Angeles Lakers this late in the 2023-24 NBA regular season. While they are assured to play at least in the Play-in Tournament, the Lakers' primary goal is to make it to the top-six of the Western Conference standings for a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.

However, there is a possibility that both of their two best players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis will not be able to suit up and play this Tuesday in an important showdown versus Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors at home.

Lakers will be shorthanded for pivotal clash with Warriors

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) talks with Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) during a timeout against the Washington Wizards in the second half at Capital One Arena.
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Davis and James were initially listed as questionable on the Lakers' injury report, which has often been the case for the two superstars this season. Davis and James are listed as questionable because of left eye soreness and flu-like symptoms, respectively.

It can be recalled that Davis' eye took a hit in the first half of Sunday's 127-11 home loss at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He then exited the contest and did not return. Before he left, Davis only scored four points and had four rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 12 minutes.

Davis arrived at Crypto.com Arena on Tuesday hoping to suit up. However, coach Darvin Ham told reporters during pregame media availability that the big man will be inactive against Golden State due to lingering effects of his eye injury.
“He showed up (to the arena) trying to play but he just couldn’t get over the headache and the nausea,” he said of Davis, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Expect Jaxson Hayes to start in Davis' place.

James, on the other hand, is in danger of missing another game for the same reason he was forced to sit out the date with the Timberwolves. The last time he saw action was during last Saturday's 116-97 win over his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, in Los Angeles. The four-time league Most Valuable Player had 24 points and 12 assists along with five rebounds and a block in 36 minutes of action in that outing.

While Ham says James is currently a “game-time decision,” he's reportedly yet to arrive at Crypto.com Arena, casting further doubt on his status for Los Angeles' biggest game of the season.

The Lakers are currently positioned ninth in the Western Conference standings with a 45-34 record — just one and-a-half games ahead of the Warriors, who have defeated Los Angeles in two of the first three meetings this season. In the most recent clash between the two Pacific division rivals, the Lakers fell prey to the Dubs at home last March, 128-121. Davis, however, was not able to play from the second period to the fourth quarter of that game because of the aforementioned eye injury, seeing action for just 12 minutes and chipping in eight points and four rebounds. James, meanwhile, played 38 minutes and provided a near triple-double production of 40 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds.

With Davis sidelined and James potentially joining him, the purple-and-gold will likely need big offensive performances from the the likes of D'Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura to keep pace with the full-strength Dubs. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. (PT).