LeBron James misses Lakers playoff push with foot injury


LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a significant setback Sunday with a right leg injury that is expected to sideline him for several weeks, a person familiar with the situation said, spoiling a rare hope. A tumultuous season.

The 38-year-old James, who was listed with a sore right leg for the Lakers’ next game, Tuesday’s visit to the Memphis Grizzlies, fell to the floor and clutched his leg late in the third quarter of a 111-108 victory. Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

The All-Star forward cut, received the basket and made a move to dribble past Dwight Powell in traffic. James immediately responded, grabbing the middle of his right foot and saying, “Heard that.”

Despite the setback, James continued to play, recording 26 points, eight rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes. The four-time MVP walked with a noticeable limp following the game.

James said after Sunday’s win: “It was great, that’s for sure. “I’m definitely not going to go to the locker room. I finished the game tonight.

On Monday, James posted a photo of his foot in a protective sock along with an Instagram photo that read, “”[Expletive] SUCKS!!!!”

James missed three games before the All-Star break with a sore left foot, and he was sidelined for two weeks in November with a groin injury. Athletic It was first announced on Monday That James will be sidelined for a long time.

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The new-look Lakers, who signed D’Angelo Russell, Jarrett Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and Rui Hachimura to deals before the trade deadline, must now head into the playoffs without their leading scorer. Los Angeles is 5-9 this season without James, who is averaging 29.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists.

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It’s been a historic and disappointing campaign for James, who this month became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and set a league record by appearing in his 19th All-Star Game. But injuries to James and Anthony Davis contributed to another losing season for the Lakers, who on Monday entered the Western Conference’s No. Entered as the 12th seed at 29-32.

Expressing impatience with the Lakers’ state in December, James vowed during All-Star Weekend that the balance of the season represented some of the “most important games” of his career as he sought to avoid missing the playoffs for a second straight season. . With nearly six weeks remaining in the regular season, Los Angeles is one game out of the West’s play-in mix and 2½ games from securing a guaranteed playoff spot by finishing with a top-six record in the conference.

Despite James publicly campaigning to reunite with his former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates, the Lakers did not land Kyrie Irving, but they did trade Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz, which reshuffled their roster. Los Angeles is 4-1 since parting ways with Westbrook, including emphatic wins over the New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors in the West play-in mix.

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