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LeBron James (ankle) to miss Lakers’ last two games

Apr 1, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts after he was called for a foul in the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James will miss the final two games of the season with a sprained left ankle.

The Lakers announced the veteran forward’s status Friday after an evaluation by the team’s medical staff.

“He will miss the remainder of the 2021-22 NBA season to allow for continued healing and an expected full recovery,” the team said.

James, 37, injured the ankle on March 27. After sitting out two games, he returned on April 1 and scored 38 points in a 114-111 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

That was his final appearance of the campaign, putting his season-ending numbers at 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in 56 starts.

By not reaching the minimum requirement of 58 games, James is not eligible to win the NBA scoring title. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid entered Friday averaging 30.4 points per game.

With James sitting out, Los Angeles officially was eliminated from the playoff race in Tuesday’s 121-110 loss against the Phoenix Suns.

The Lakers (31-49) have lost eight in a row. Their final two games are Friday night at home versus the Oklahoma City Thunder and Sunday against the Nuggets in Denver.

James is an 18-time All-Star, four-time league MVP and four-time NBA champion. He will enter his 20th season in 2022-23 needing 1,326 points to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) as the league’s all-time scoring leader.

–Field Level Media