The Los Angeles Lakers have ruled out LeBron James and Lonnie Walker IV for Wednesday night’s game against the Miami Heat.
James was originally listed as questionable on the Lakers’ injury report due to left ankle soreness although he has now been ruled out with a non-COVID illness. The Lakers just finished up a five-game East Coast road trip and flew across the country, which likely contributed to James getting sick.
The illness doesn’t come at the best time considering James has been on a role as of late. Since turning 38, James has played in two games and averaged 45 points, 10.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists, shooting 64.2% from the field while leading his team to back-to-back wins.
If L.A. wants to extend its win streak to three though then it will have to do it without its two biggest stars with Anthony Davis remaining out with a foot injury.
They will also be without a third starter in Walker, who is missing his third consecutive game. The last two games Walker missed were with a tailbone contusion, although the Lakers are now classifying his injury as knee soreness.
In their absence, guys like Russell Westbrook, Austin Reaves, Thomas Bryant, Dennis Schroder and Troy Brown Jr. will need to step up against a tough Heat team that just beat the Lakers comfortably with James last week in Miami.
Westbrook missed the second half of Monday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets with foot soreness although the expectation is that he will play against the Heat, being listed as probable.
Ham credited James for taking care of his body
James has played heavy minutes for the Lakers in recent weeks before coming down with this illness. When discussing James’ workload, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham credited him for taking care of his body to allow him to continue playing that many minutes at age 38.
“The constant communication and collaboration with just picking your spots and whether to sub him or call a timeout. A night like tonight, a night like last game where he’s just got it going not just from a scoring perspective, but a playmaking perspective and the way he’s rebounding, the way he’s defending, you just want to ride him. And he allows you to do that because he takes such great care of himself. It’s a great luxury to have.”
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