LeBron James to miss third consecutive game because of knee injury

Lakers star LeBron James will not play Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks because of left knee soreness.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

LeBron James will miss his third straight game with a knee injury, the Lakers star being downgraded to “out” for Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks after being listed as questionable ahead of the prior two games.

The team said James is suffering from soreness and swelling in his left knee.

James scored 33 points against the Nets on Tuesday in Brooklyn before waking up with pain in his knee the next morning. The Lakers then downgraded him, and after a brief on-court workout, ruled him out at Philadelphia on Thursday. He didn’t play against Charlotte on Friday.

Asked before Friday’s game if he was concerned that James’ injury was more serious than a day-to-day problem, coach Frank Vogel said “not right now.”

Russell Westbrook scored 35 points but missed a potential go-ahead three-pointer as the Lakers, without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, lost 117-114 at Charlotte.


“There’s some swelling in there that they want to just get on top of,” Vogel said. “And that’s all it is.”

James could get further testing on the knee once the team returns to Los Angeles following Sunday’s game.

The injury is the latest in a series of setbacks the Lakers have faced this season. Through 50 games, James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis have played only 16 games together.

Davis, who missed 17 games with his own knee injury, is questionable Sunday with a sore right wrist — an injury he suffered in just his second game back from a sprained medial collateral ligament.

With Davis hurt, James took the brunt of the offensive burden, scoring at least 25 points in 18 straight games before getting injured. During that stretch, James averaged 29.5 points in 36.5 minutes. He bristled at questions regarding his workload.

“I don’t get caught up in usage rates and heavy loads and things of that nature,” James said this month. “That’s been me my whole career, since I was an 18-year-old kid taking over a franchise. So, that type of pressure or that type of load is something I’m accustomed to, I’ve been accustomed to for 20 years.”