The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, but lost LeBron James — at least for the time being.
After leading the Lakers to a sizable lead, James left the game in the third quarter with what the team described as a strained left groin. He did not return, but the Lakers had no trouble pulverizing the Warriors without him, rolling to a 127-101 victory.
There was obvious cause for concern for the Lakers not only because James is one of the greatest players of his generation but also because he is one of its most durable. Coach Luke Walton said James would undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam on Wednesday to determine the extent of the injury; Walton did not offer a timetable for his return.
“Just overextended my groin, I guess,” said James, who did not rule out playing on Thursday against the Sacramento Kings. “It’s unfortunate.”
Now in his 16th season, James has never sustained a serious injury. Last season, he appeared in all 82 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers. And the only season during which he missed more than 10 games was 2014-15, when he struggled with back issues. He rounded into shape in time to lead the Cavaliers to the N.B.A. finals.
After Tuesday’s game, James said he “takes a lot of pride” in not missing games because of injuries.
“That’s why it pissed me off not being able to go back into the game,” he said. “More than anything, being available to my teammates, being available to my coaching staff — that’s something that I take more personal than anything. So hopefully it’s not a long thing, and I can get back on the floor as soon as possible.”
The Lakers were leading by 71-57 on Tuesday when James left the game, thanks in part to his 17 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists in 21 minutes.
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