LOS ANGELES — LeBron James will miss at least the next two games for the Los Angeles Lakers as he continues to rehabilitate a strained left groin, his agent, Wealthy Paul of Klutch Sports activities, informed ESPN on Tuesday.
James has missed the previous 11 games for the Lakers since struggling the damage on Christmas Day in opposition to the Golden State Warriors, and L.A. has gone Four-7 in his absence, together with Tuesday’s 107-100 win in opposition to the hapless Chicago Bulls at Staples Middle.
James may have his groin damage re-evaluated in Los Angeles on Wednesday — the three-week mark for the reason that damage occurred — and won’t accompany the staff on its two-game journey to Oklahoma Metropolis and Houston, Paul informed ESPN.
The information comes at a treacherous time within the Lakers’ schedule as they’re going to play the Thunder, the No. three staff within the Western Convention, adopted by the No. Four Rockets and eventually the No. 1 Golden State Warriors within the span of 5 days.
James has not been dominated out of the matchup with Golden State on Martin Luther King Day on Monday night time at house. James has been progressing in his rehab, taking part in half-court taking pictures and passing drills at the Lakers’ follow facility this week.
Coach Luke Walton stated he was “inspired” by what he has seen from James again on the court docket however was fast to add that James “did not do the up-and-down stuff” with the remainder of the staff.
L.A. is 24-21, in a digital tie with the Utah Jazz for the No. eight spot within the West.
“It is a robust three-game stretch,” Kyle Kuzma stated. “Tremendous robust. High 5 groups within the league for those who had been to look at it from a yr in the past and even how they’re enjoying proper now. So, for us, we acquired our fingers full and it is simply extra adversity we acquired to face, particularly highway games and coming house and enjoying on Martin Luther King Day.”
The Lakers noticed an 18-point fourth quarter lead minimize to 5 earlier than holding on to beat the Bulls. It was a reminder of the disappointing outcomes they had been unable to keep away from in opposition to the New York Knicks — a staff that had misplaced eight in a row coming into the L.A. recreation and 4 in a row since — and the Cleveland Cavaliers — a staff that had misplaced 12 straight coming into their win over the Lakers — and the uphill battle they face within the standings.
“I imply, it type of kicks you in your butt while you look at the games you’ve got misplaced that you must have won,” Kuzma stated. “Clearly. Particularly enjoying within the West, every little thing is so shut. So we’re outdoors of the playoffs proper now, however we may simply be fourth proper now. So, you undoubtedly look at it like that, however you bought to simply take it with a grain of salt and simply convey it. Carry it each single night time. Particularly within the West.”
The 13 games missed for James, with Oklahoma Metropolis and Houston off the desk, will match essentially the most he has missed in a season when he reached the identical complete in 2014-15. It’s already essentially the most games he has missed consecutively in a season, eclipsing the eight straight he sat out in 2014-15 whereas coping with again and knee ache.