LeBron James out vs. Nuggets Sunday due to sore ankle

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Lakers
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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.

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.