LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles during the game against the Phoenix Suns. Photo: AFP
LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles during the game against the Phoenix Suns. Photo: AFP

LeBron James out with ankle sprain as NBA All-Star Game looms

By AFP Time of article published Mar 3, 2021

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LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will miss the reigning NBA champions' last contest before the All-Star Game break with a sprained left ankle, the club announced Wednesday.

James will stay in Los Angeles for treatment and miss his first game of the 2020-21 season on Wednesday when the Lakers play at Sacramento.

The 36-year-old playmaker has been nagged by the injury but still managed to deliver 38 points, five rebounds, six assists, two steals and a blocked shot over 37 minutes Tuesday in a 114-104 home loss to Phoenix.

James is expected to play in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, which he said last month was a "slap in the face" to NBA players after the event had originally been called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At 24-12, the Lakers have the third-best record in the NBA this season to Western Conference leader Utah's 27-8 mark and the Suns at 23-11.

In playing all 36 games for the Lakers so far this season, James is averaging 25.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.8 assists.

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By sitting out the Lakers' final game before the NBA's mid-season break, James will play only the All-Star Game from March 1 to March 12, when the defending champions launch the second half of their schedule at home against Indiana.

The Lakers are also without star big man Anthony Davis, sidelined by a right leg injury, as well as Spanish center Marc Gasol, who is on the Covid-19 list.

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