Lakers star LeBron James will not play against Rockets

Lakers star LeBron James greets Clippers star Kawhi Leonard before their game last Thursday.
(Mike Ehrmann / Associated Press)

LeBron James will not play against the Houston Rockets on Thursday night because of a sore right groin, according to the Lakers.

James has not missed any time due to the groin injury during the league’s restart, but the Lakers are trying to be smart with their 35-year-old star. James played 30 minutes in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night and scored 19 points.

During his first season with the Lakers, a significant groin injury caused James to miss five weeks of the season. When he returned the Lakers gave him time off because the injury wasn’t fully healed.

This season James has periodically missed time that was attributed to groin soreness, but he said none of what he’s experienced comes close to the pain associated with last season’s injury.

It is likely the Lakers are keeping him out of Thursday night’s game for maintenance purposes.

The Lakers (51-15) do not have any tangible reason to play James until the playoffs. They clinched the top seed in the Western Conference on Monday with a win over the Utah Jazz.


The No. 1 overall seed is expected to be the Milwaukee Bucks (54-14), who can clinch the best record in the East with a win on Thursday.