As has been the case for most of the 2021-22 season, the Los Angeles Lakers saw any modest momentum dashed when they dropped their matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
It was disappointing to see the Lakers lose, but Anthony Davis looked more like his usual self as he outplayed Joel Embiid. Davis led all scorers with 31 points to go along with 12 rebounds, four blocks, and two steals. It was an impressive performance and a sign that the star big man might be all the way back from the MCL injury that sidelined him for nearly two months.
However, while Davis’ outing was encouraging for the Lakers, the team received bad news prior to the loss against the 76ers when LeBron James was a late scratch due to left knee soreness. Head coach Frank Vogel announced James would be considered day-to-day going forward.
“He’s out tonight, won’t be available,” Vogel said before the game. “Just woke with some soreness this morning that was enough to hold him out and he’ll be day-to-day.”
Los Angeles is set to play against the Charlotte Hornets on the second end of a back-to-back on Friday and James’ status for the game remains uncertain.
“No, just woke up with it, and like I said, we believe he’ll be day-to-day,” Vogel said.
Perhaps this is not much to worry about as the team may have wanted to sit him out against Philadelphia to get him some much-needed rest. The knee soreness was a surprise given that James did not look to hurt himself in their previous game against the Brooklyn Nets, so this could just be a case of load managing at this juncture of the season.
Concerns should arise if James is forced to sit out against the Hornets as well, but in the meantime, it would be fair to expect him to suit up, especially after another loss. Los Angeles can ill afford to have the 37-year-old miss any more games as they continue to try to stay afloat in the standings, so hopefully the soreness is nothing serious and James returns to the court on Friday.
LeBron James selected as 2022 All-Star Captain
James has been on a scoring tear the past couple of months as he tries to will the Lakers to wins, and for his efforts, he was once again named as an All-Star team captain. This will be the 18th time James has been selected to an All-Star game, tying Kobe Bryant for second on the all-time list.
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