After the Lakers’ loss to the Pelicans on Friday night, LeBron James said that his ankle — sprained the previous weekend — was sore and tight, but “recovery begins right now” and he hoped to play Sunday.
He won’t. James’ ankle will keep him out Sunday for a matinee vs. the Nuggets, coach Frank Vogel said before the game.
Vogel said LeBron’s ankle was particularly sore after last game; short turnaround (7:30 p.m. Friday tip, to 12:30 p.m. Sunday tip) didn’t help.
Vogel has had to game plan without LeBron or AD for most of the season: “Season of adjustment … we gotta play through it.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) April 3, 2022
Anthony Davis, who returned from a sprained foot on Friday, will play on Sunday.
LeBron needs to play two more games this season to get to 58 total and qualify for the scoring title, in which he leads a very tight three-way race with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid. Going into Sunday, LeBron has averaged 30.3 points a game, with Antetokounmpo with 30.1 and Embiid is at 30.0.
The Lakers are mathematically still alive to make the play-in tournament, but they are one game behind the Spurs for the No. 10 seed and San Antonio has the tiebreaker making it in effect a two-game lead. Making up that ground is unlikely unless the Lakers win out or close to it in their final five games.