NBA notebook: Injured LeBron may miss time


LeBron James aggravated a right groin injury in the first quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 111-106 loss Wednesday and could be forced to miss some time, ESPN reported Thursday.

December 25, 2019; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) moves the ball against Los Angeles Clippers forward JaMychal Green (4) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

James said he was kneed in the groin when taking a charge from the Clippers’ Patrick Beverley and said that “kind of set me right back to where I was five days ago.”

He missed the Lakers’ game on Sunday, a loss to Denver, because of the a thoracic muscle strain, which affects the ribs, and lingering discomfort in his right groin.

The Denver game was the only one James has missed this season, and he has said he doesn’t believe in the idea of load management. And while ESPN reported this injury is far less severe than last year’s torn left groin that limited his playing time to 55 games, it could worsen with overuse. Some members of the Lakers organization have asked him to sit out until his injury has had a chance to recover fully.

—Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic returned from his sprained right ankle and started against the San Antonio Spurs.

Doncic, 20, missed the past four games and most of a fifth when he injured his ankle early in a Dec. 14 game against the Miami Heat. The Mavericks lost that game and then went 2-2 without their superstar, who has averaged 29.3 points over 25 games.

The injury forced Doncic to miss a highly anticipated matchup against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 16. Dallas won that game without their scoring leader, ending the Bucks’ 18-game winning streak.

—Zion Williamson still has a lot to learn before he can make his NBA debut with the New Orleans Pelicans. That’s what he told ESPN’s Jorge Sedano before the Pelicans beat the Denver Nuggets 112-100 on Wednesday night.

Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, told Sedano that his rehab from surgery to repair a torn right meniscus includes working to make his body’s kinetic chain get in sync. That includes learning how to walk and run differently.

The 19-year-old told Sedano he “trusts the organization” and the decisions that are being made to best benefit his 6-foot-6, 284-pound body.

—Detroit Pistons shooting guard Luke Kennard will be sidelined at least two weeks due to bilateral knee tendinitis, the team announced.

Kennard, who will be re-evaluated by the club on Jan. 7, is averaging career-best totals in points (15.8), assists (4.1) and rebounds (3.5) this season. The 23-year-old last played on Saturday, scoring 16 points in 31 minutes in Detroit’s 119-107 loss to Chicago.

Kennard is averaging 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 164 career games since being selected by the Pistons with the 12th overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft.

—Field Level Media

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