LOS ANGELES, USA – It wasn’t a perfect Christmas romp for the Los Angeles Lakers – who blew out two-time defending champion Golden State – as their star player LeBron James left the game early with a groin injury.
“Hopefully it is not a long thing, I can get back on the floor as soon as possible,” said James, who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
James was injured halfway through the 3rd quarter when he reached for a loose ball. He grimaced and grabbed his left groin before heading to the sidelines where he tried to stretch it out.
He was moving gingerly when he left the court for good and headed to the team’s locker room.
Walton said team doctors would examine James on Wednesday, December 26.
“He will get an MRI tomorrow and we will have a better understanding of what he has got going on,” Walton said.
Without James to power them in the second half, the Lakers stepped up to snap their 11-game losing streak on the Warriors’ home court.
“That was our most complete game of the season,” said Lakers coach Luke Walton. “We knew they were going to go on a run and a lot of the time we rely on LeBron or our veteran leaders to keep us in it.”
“Without LeBron, the group as a whole did a good job of fighting back.”
Kyle Kuzma contributed 19 points, Croatian Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo 15 points and 10 assists, as the Lakers won on the Warriors’ home floor for the first time in 6 years.
They also ended a 7-game losing streak overall in the series with their first win in the California rivalry since 2016.
“We just want to continue to get better,” James said. “It is always the next man up. You have to be able to take punches and punch back and we were able to do that.”
Kevin Durant had 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Andre Iguodala came off the bench, scored a season-high 23 points in the contest – one of 5 NBA games on Christmas Day.
Golden State struggled mightily from 3-point range, shooting just 9-of-36 overall, with Stephen Curry going 2-of-8 and Durant 3-for-8. – Rappler.com