NBA regular season

LeBron James to return next week in Lakers’ final push

LeBron James to return next week in Lakers’ final push

CRUCIAL. LeBron James and the Lakers stand in the precarious No. 6 spot.

Photo by Carmen Mandato/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Returning in the final stretch of the regular season, LeBron James looks to help the Lakers stay inside the top 6 to avoid the play-in tournament

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is expected to miss a couple more games before returning next week for the team’s final four regular season games, The Athletic reported Thursday, May 6 (Friday, May 7, Manila time).

James already sat out Thursday’s loss to Los Angeles rival Clippers, and is expected to miss Friday’s game versus the Portland Trail Blazers. But Sunday’s home game against the Phoenix Suns was added to give the superstar more time to heal, per the report.

The Lakers play two sets of back-to-back games next week at home versus the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, then on the road against the Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans to end the regular season. That means James would likely play in only two of those games to get game-ready for the playoffs.

With the loss to the Clippers, the Lakers are now tied with the Blazers at 37-29 for the No. 6 seed. 

Remaining in the top 6 is imperative in order to avoid the play-in tournament.

This season, the four-time NBA MVP is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.8 assists per game. –