LeBron James Is Out Against The Houston Rockets
LeBron James will miss the Lakers' second game of a back-to-back on Thursday against the Houston Rockets because of a sore right groin.
James missed 17-straight games last season after suffering a right groin injury in a game against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas. He went on to miss another 10 games as the Lakers missed the playoffs.
The Lakers clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference this season for the first time since 2010 in their 116-108 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday and are making their first playoff appearance since 2013.
James, 35, is averaging 19.2 points, 10 rebounds and 6.2 assists in the team's four games since the season was resumed at Walt Disney World near Orlando on July 30.
The Lakers (51-16) have been struggling on the offensive end over that period. In their 105-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, they shot 35.2 percent from the field and 13.5 percent from beyond the three-point line. In their 107-92 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, they made 35.4 percent of their field goals and 25 percent of their three-pointers.
James, however, said he's not worried.
"Our shooters, including myself and everybody else, we’ll get our rhythm and start making some [shots]," James said Wednesday.
James pointed out that the Lakers are adjusting to new personnel and lineups after Avery Bradley opted out of the restart because of family reasons and Rajon Rondo suffered a fractured right thumb in the team's second practice inside of the NBA bubble. The Lakers have started Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in Bradley's spot and are trying to integrate Markieff Morris, Dion Waiters and JR Smith into the offense.
"We’re just trying to fit everybody in, do it on the fly, but at the same time get our legs up underneath us, get our system back in place," James said.
Alex Caruso (left neck muscle spasms) is questionable Thursday. Anthony Davis (sprained right ankle), Morris (left hip contusion), Caldwell-Pope (right ribs contusion) and Dwight Howard (sore right knee) are probable.
The Rockets are tied with the Thunder for fifth-place in the Western Conference with a record of 42-25, 1/2 game behind the fourth-place Utah Jazz (43-25).