Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Sport https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ LeBron James comes out early with ankle pain at the loss of the Lakers

LeBron James comes out early with ankle pain at the loss of the Lakers

The Lakers began the last two weeks of the regular season in a battle they felt they had avoided, the prospect of a tournament game playing an increasingly formidable opportunity. They had just suffered an embarrassing loss to the Sacramento Kings, who beat them without two of their best players and another who scored just two points.

And they had just realized that another of their key players, Dennis Schroeder, would not be available, forcing the Lakers to lock in a little more, play a little sharper and a little harder on Sunday night as they do real pressure for the postseason.

An answer was required. The issue was a surprise.

Kyle Lowry, the guard they decided not to trade for, ran up the sideline, releasing Ric Flair “Woooo”

; after a bucket. The Raptors bench, limited by life and energy.

And the Lakers, well, they were just there, a passive participant in their own death.

After leading by 12 early – maybe they were crazy – the Lakers just looked bad, trailing by 21 and welcoming the deficit mostly with their shoulders.

The fact that the result tightened at times was almost irrelevant. The fact that the Lakers, a team that won the title at the back of chemistry and effort, played so long without both is a big problem.

The 121-114 loss on Sunday, their sixth in seven games, dropped the Lakers to a three-way tie with Dallas and Portland. And LeBron James was forced to return to the locker room in the middle of the fourth quarter, unable to return due to a sore right ankle.

“The last two games at halftime, after the break, made me a little sore, a little tight,” James said of his right ankle.

Coach Frank Vogel said the Lakers will see how James feels on Monday morning to assess the chances he plays on Monday night when they host Denver.

James scored 19 points in 27:33 in his second game after missing 20 games due to a high sprain of his right ankle.

Perhaps the Lakers’ problems began in mid-November, when the NBA decided it would all begin in a month, with players like Anthony Davis dipping their fingers in action as if it were an unheated pool.

Davis and James’ injuries made the equations even easier to solve – nothing would matter unless the two players could not return.

To remain competitive without their stars would be a mental and physical tax. And if that meant basketball in the meantime, so be it.

Highlights of the Lakers’ 121-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center on Sunday.

But on Sunday, the fruits of that were on display.

The Lakers were separated as usual, now playing without their guard. Just last week, Schroeder told German media that he was not sure if he would get vaccinated against COVID. On Sunday, he adhered to the health and safety protocols in the league, which means that he or close contact gave positive results for the virus.

The Lakers and Frank Vogel refused to update Schröder’s status outside his place in the minutes. If the test was false positive or unconvincing, it could only be returned after an absence from one game. Otherwise, he will at least miss most of the remaining regular season.

“We have to be healthy … if it’s not one thing, it’s another,” James told Schroeder, who is on COVID’s health and safety records.

His absence will certainly not help the Lakers solve their continuity issues. The team has yet to play a single game this season with a likely playoff rotation intact, thanks to Alex Caruso, who missed Friday’s brutal loss to the Kings.

But that can’t be much of an excuse, not when you think the Raptors are playing without Fred VanVleet.

In his absence, Lowry, who was being chased by the Lakers but ultimately did not pull the trigger on the trading deadline, was sensational. He scored 37 points to go with 11 assists, burying deep threes to put out any return embers.

Kyle Kuzma, for his part, scored 24 and hit a key jumper in the last minute to make things somehow interesting.

Complicating matters, Davis is still moving back, scoring just 12 in 33 minutes. And even more problematic, James wasn’t there to save them, too hurt to continue in a game they would have lost to the Lakers anyway.

It was another blow in the night when the Lakers didn’t seem ready to fight back.



When: 19:00, Monday.

On air: Television: Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN; Radio: 710, 1330.

Update: The Nuggets defeated the Clippers 110-104 on Friday for their fifth straight victory. Denver is now halfway ahead of the Clippers for third place, while the Lakers are in a three-way relationship with Dallas and Portland in a race for fifth to seventh seed in the West.

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