James was making just his second appearance since missing 20 games with a sprained right ankle, as the Lakers lost to the Raptors at home.
Making his second start since returning from a 20-game absence due to a sprained right ankle, Lakers star forward LeBron James exited Sunday’s 121–114 loss to the Raptors midway through the fourth quarter with soreness in the same ankle, according to the team.
James came out with just under seven minutes left in the game and the Lakers trailing by 16. He did not return, even after the team cut the deficit to six points with just under a minute to play.
James finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists on 6-for-11 shooting in 28 minutes. In his return on Friday against the Kings, he scored 16 points with eight rebounds and seven assists in 32 minutes as the Lakers lost 110–106.
The Lakers now have the same record as the Trail Blazers, though currently hold the tiebreaker and remain in the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference with eight games remaining. Falling to the No. 7 seed would mean having to go through the NBA’s play-in tournament in order to advance to the first round of the playoffs.
The Lakers have lost six of their last seven games, and will face a tough stretch of games next week when they take on the Nuggets, Clippers, Trail Blazers, Suns and Knicks. Five of their next six games are in Los Angeles before ending the regular season with road games against the Pacers and Pelicans.
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