James set to return for Lakers versus Pacers
NBA.com Global on Feb 06, 2019 05:15 AM
FILE - LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers shakes hands with fans as he walks off the court after the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 14, 2018 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James will be back in the lineup today against the Indiana Pacers, days after missing the Lakers' last game for "load management" reasons.
James last played on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) in a 123-120 overtime win against the LA Clippers. That game was his first after missing 17 straight contests with a strained left groin suffered on Christmas night. At shootaround on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), James confirmed he would play vs. the Pacers and would not be under a minutes restriction, although coach Luke Walton said there is an ideal number they'd like to keep James under minutes-wise.
LeBron confirmed that he’ll play tonight in Indiana after missing the previous contest due to load management.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 5, 2019
LeBron James said “I’m looking forward to getting back out there with the guys tonight” for Lakers vs Pacers.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) February 5, 2019
Luke Walton said it was a natural thing that LeBron was sore after his first game back, and he almost played last game. There is no minutes restriction, though there’s an ideal number they’d like to stay under (win vs the Clippers went to OT and he played 40).— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 5, 2019
James missed the Lakers' 115-101 road loss to the Golden State Warriors for "load management." James woke up last Friday (last Saturday, PHL time) feeling "pretty sore'' after playing 40 minutes vs. the Clippers. He had 24 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists in that game, when the Lakers had hoped to keep James to 32-35 minutes but needed him in overtime.
Additionally, center Ivica Zubac had an MRI that revealed a small avulsion fracture on his left middle finger. He is not expected to miss any games because of the injury.
Ivica Zubac had an MRI that revealed a small avulsion fracture on his left middle finger, but he is not expected to miss any games.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) February 5, 2019