WASHINGTON (AP) About 1 1/2 hours before tipoff Sunday, LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue walked into the visiting locker room. A few minutes later, Lue came outside to tell reporters he was giving the four-time NBA MVP a day off.
James was given a chance to take it easy for the second time this season, sitting out Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland's game against John Wall and the Washington Wizards.
''I just felt that today's a good game just to give him a break and give him a little rest,'' Lue said.
Lue explained that he decided to let his star sit for a few reasons.
The Cavs are in the middle of a stretch of three games in four days, including playing at the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. Sunday's game was scheduled for a 1 p.m. start. Another factor, according to the coach: James played the entire second half Friday night in Cleveland's 99-97 loss at the Toronto Raptors.
''He didn't want to come out,'' Lue said with a chuckle, then repeated himself: ''He didn't want to come out. I should have got him out of there, but he didn't want to come out.''
Late against Toronto in a tight game, Lue recalled: ''I said, `I'm going to get you out for a couple.' He said, `No!' He went crazy, so that kind of has something to do with also sitting him today for an early game.''
The only other game James skipped this season came against his former team, the Miami Heat, on Dec. 5, when the explanation given also was that James needed rest, rather than that he was dealing with any sort of injury.
James is sixth in the NBA in scoring at 24.7 points per game. He's also averaging 7.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists.
NOTE: The Cavaliers announced they signed G Jordan McRae to a 10-day contract. The 6-foot-6 McRae was an NBA Development League All-Star this year. Asked by a reporter whether he expects McRae to play, Lue responded: ''You never know.''
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