LeBron James Leaves Lakers’ Blowout of the Warriors With an Injury – Smart Media Magazine

LeBron James Leaves Lakers’ Blowout of the Warriors With an Injury


OAKLAND, Calif. — The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, but lost LeBron James — at least for the time being.

After leading the Lakers to a sizable lead, James left the game in the third quarter with what the team described as a strained left groin. He did not return, but the Lakers had no trouble pulverizing the Warriors without him, rolling to a 127-101 victory, their first win at Oracle Arena since December 2012.

There was obvious cause for concern for the Lakers not only because James is one of the greatest players of his generation but also because he is one of its most durable. Coach Luke Walton said James would undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury; Walton did not offer a timetable for his return.

“Just overextended my groin, I guess,” said James, who did not rule out playing on Thursday against the Sacramento Kings. “It’s unfortunate.”

Now in his 16th season, James has never sustained a serious injury. Last season, he appeared in all 82 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers. And the only season during which he missed more than 10 games was 2014-15, when he struggled with back issues. He rounded into shape in time to lead the Cavaliers to the N.B.A. finals.

After Tuesday’s game, James said he “takes a lot of pride” in not missing games because of injuries.

“That’s why it pissed me off not being able to go back into the game,” he said. “More than anything, being available to my teammates, being available to my coaching staff — that’s something that I take more personal than anything. So hopefully it’s not a long thing, and I can get back on the floor as soon as possible.”

The Lakers were leading by 71-57 on Tuesday when James left the game, thanks in part to his 17 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists in 21 minutes.

It was looking like one of James’s vintage Christmas Day performances until he caught himself under one of the baskets with 7 minute 51 seconds left in the third quarter, wincing in pain. Walton called for a timeout.

Lakers trainers met James on the court as he tried to do some stretching, and he could be heard telling them that he felt something “pop.” He soon left for the locker room.

“Obviously, we want him back as soon as possible,” Walton said. “But we also will be very cautious with when we bring him back.”

Without James, his younger teammates showed plenty of resilience against the defending champions. After the Warriors (23-12) initially cut into their lead with James off the court, the Lakers (20-14) responded to build it up again by attacking the basket and stifling the Warriors along the perimeter.

Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 19 points, but it was a balanced effort. Ivica Zubac had 18 points, Rajon Rondo had 15, and Brandon Ingram added 14. The Warriors shot just 40.9 percent from the field.



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