Lakers star out vs. Warriors with ankle issue, putting 40,000-point chase on hold


Lakers star out vs. Warriors with ankle issue, putting 40,000-point chase on hold

LeBron James will miss the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, the team announced Wednesday. He is listed as out with left ankle peroneal tendinopathy.

James was excused from Wednesday’s practice. Before the All-Star break, he missed the Lakers’ game against the Utah Jazz last Wednesday because of the ankle issue.

On Sunday in Indianapolis, James said he got treatment “the last few days, trying to get my ankle as strong and as back to where I feel confident that I can finish off this last third of the season,” and he’d get more treatment the next day. He played only 14 minutes in the All-Star Game, all in the first half, and said that he is trying “to be as healthy as I can be physically” because “this last part of the season is very important for us.”

The Lakers have won six of their last seven games, but, because so many teams near them in the Western Conference standings have been seeing similar success, they haven’t made up much ground. With 26 games remaining in the regular season, Los Angeles is 30-26 and ninth in the West, with a slightly negative point differential. Golden State is in 10th place at 27-26.

James is averaging 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 7.8 assists in 34.9 minutes in his 21st season. Already the NBA’s all-time scoring leader, he is 132 points away from becoming the first player in league history to reach the 40,000-point mark James is on pace to do it in his sixth game after the break (March 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, assuming he’s in the lineup for every game after Thursday’s) .

Los Angeles also announced that backup big man Christian Wood has an effusion (i.e. swelling) in his left knee and will be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks. The Lakers are optimistic that this is a minor, short-term issue, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

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