The Los Angeles Lakers took to court Thursday night against the Sacramento Kings without any of their summer recruits, including LeBron James who is out with a groin strain that he sustained during their win over the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day.
The Lakers were up by 15 points with just over six minutes remaining in the game, but mental mistakes plagued them. He saw 19 minutes in the first game without James and Rondo, scoring 10 points with three assists and two rebounds.
Lakers coach Luke Walton said the team would not rush James back. Even without LeBron James, this promises to be an exciting game. When you get the best closer in the game on your team, then you rely on him to do that.
James does not have a serious groin injury, but there is a healing process for him to navigate. However, the Kings went on a insane run and tied the game at 112 when Kyle Kuzma fouled Kings forward Justin Jackson on a 3-point attempt.
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But if he is able to play like he did in the last match in the centre, then for me it is not a problem to put him in the centre. I am happy with him in this position but he can can still play as a winger, of course.
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However, Walton had confirmed before the game that the Lakers are taking a cautious approach to James' recovery.
"It's one of those things we want to make sure he's healthy before we get him back out there", Walton said.
The three-time National Basketball Association champion suffered the injury in the third quarter, and scans later revealed the injury was much better than first feared. Ball said after the game he was fine and expects to play against the Clippers on Friday.
As Lakers reporter Mike Trudell revealed, Rondo is dealing with a Grade 3 sprain to his right ring finger and missed Thursday's game against the Sacramento Kings. Kuzma scored 12 points in the second quarter.