Last Christmas, LeBron James injured his groin and missed five weeks of his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. This Christmas, James tweaked his groin during a 111-106 loss to the LA Clippers. Although the injury is mild compared to the severe groin pull last Christmas, it’s unknown how much time James will miss.
James attempted to draw a charge against Patrick Beverly in the first quarter. The two collided and Beverly’s knee landed in LeBron’s groin area.
James visibly limped off the court at halftime, and at the end of the game. He finished with 23 points and missed a triple-double with 10 assists and 9 rebounds.
“I felt healthy going in,” James told ESPN after the game. “I got kneed in the groin taking a charge from Pat Bev, and it kind of set me right back.”
James missed 15 shots on 9-for-24 shooting. He shot 2-for-12 from long range, and struggled with his outside shot after the Beverly collision.
The Same Thing Happened Just Last Year
James injured the right side of his groin, which is the opposite side of the injury he incurred last Christmas in a game against the Golden State Warriors. Last year’s injury forced him to miss the bulk of the remaining season. That mishap marked the first serious injury of his illustrious career, and put him on the bench for the next five weeks of action. The Lakers went from a potential playoff team on Christmas to dunzo by the time James returned to the lineup.
James looked good in the first 30 games of the season, averaging 25.7 points, 10.6 assists, and 7.6 rebounds per game. He leads the NBA in assists thanks to the addition of Anthony Davis.
James is listed as day-to-day, but team officials are urging him to skip the final two games of 2019 as a precaution.
“We’ll see what happens,” said James.
Clippers Win Xmas Bragging Rights
Davis added 24 points. James and AD combined for 47 points. They also shot a paltry 3-for-18 combined from beyond the arc.
Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 24 points off the bench. Aside from the trio of James, AD, and Kuzma, the remainder of the Lakers slagged off in the scoring department.
Overall, the Lakers shot only 26.7 percent from three-point range. Poor shooting and solid perimeter defense from the Clippers attributed to a poor performance from downtown.
“We just beat ourselves, plain and simple,” Kuzma said. “Obviously, credit to Clippers for making shots down the stretch. But we just beat ourselves.”
Kawhi Leonard led all scorers with 35 points. He shot 11-for-19 from the floor, including 5-for-7 from three-point land, and a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe.
Paul George shrugged off a rough night, and still connected on 17 points. PG-13 shot 5-for-18 from the floor, including 1-for-6 from three-point range. Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to score 18 points on a highly efficient 8-for-12 performance to help seal the victory for the Clippers.
The Lakers (24-7) lost four in a row, but they’re still the top team in the Western Conference. The Clippers (23-10) are currently holding down the #3 seed in the West behind the Denver Nuggets (21-9).