LeBron James out Thursday against Thunder due to knee soreness

0:51 | NBA
LeBron James (knee) out vs. Thunder, 'questionable' for Friday's game
Thursday December 11th, 2014

LeBron James is out for Cleveland Cavaliers' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, the team announced.

James missed the team's Thursday morning shootaround due to soreness in his left knee. The forward has averaged 38 minutes this season while playing in all 20 of Cleveland's games. 

The Cavaliers have won eight straight games and currently sit atop the Eastern Conference Central Division, half a game ahead of the Chicago Bulls

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving told ESPN.com that James' absence would be significant, but that the team would be able to persevere without their leader in both scoring and assists. 

"It would be big piece missing if he doesn't play, but hopefully [he does]," Irving said. "Right now, he's in our lineup, and we can go get it tonight. It will be a good matchup for all of us. But if he can't, then we'll have to adjust and we'll have to take it upon ourselves -- our bench has to play big, including myself we all have to play bigger -- just to fill that void if he can't play."

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James has averaged 24.8 points, 7.7 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game so far this season. Irving is the team's second-leading scorer with 20.8 points per game. 

Cleveland's opponent, the Thunder, are riding a three-game win streak and have won five of their last six games, sparked in part by the return of forward Kevin Durant from injury. Durant is averaging 22 points per game in four contests since returning on Dec. 2. 

The Cavs and the Thunder meet at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. 

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- Stanley Kay



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