Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James sat out the second half of the NBA All-Star Game after suffering a right hand contusion.
James captained his team for the sixth straight year, suffering his first loss, 184-175, with Jayson Tatum being named the MVP in Team Giannis Antetokounmpo’s win.
LeBron played 14 minutes in the first half, scoring 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting with a rebound and four assists. He had one of the best highlights of the night when he threw an alley-oop to himself off the backboard. James also hit a deep 3-pointer from beyond the logo, putting on a show along with the rest of the All-Stars at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
The hand contusion occurred late in the second quarter when James hit his hand on the rim trying to block a shot by Pascal Siakam. There is no further update on James’ status, although he didn’t seem to be too worried about it in his postgame press conference.
“Coach Malone is a defense-minded coach. I had him in my early days in Cleveland. I told him I would get one stop tonight for him,” James said. “I tried to get one little chase-down block, and got my finger caught in the rim. But I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. I don’t think it’s too much to worry about. For precautionary reasons, I just had to take the rest of the night off.”
LeBron was honored at halftime for becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and did not have his hand wrapped or anything while greeting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant’s family and others.
The good news for James is that he now has until Thursday to get his hand ready to play before the Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors in the first game out of the All-Star break.
James believes All-Star break will be beneficial for foot
James has also been dealing with a foot injury that recently forced him to miss three games. He returned and looked healthy against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday and said that he believed the All-Star break would be beneficial for him going into the second half.
Hopefully this hand contusion doesn’t complicate things because James and the Lakers will need to go on a serious run in their final 23 games in order to get back in the postseason picture.
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