LeBron James was a surprise scratch from the Thursday night Lakers lineup in their matchup with the Houston Rockets, with the team announcing that it was due to a sore groin.
James, who missed significant time last season due to a groin injury, apparently felt discomfort in recent days in the same area. The team, with the playoffs coming up quickly, apparently opted to play it safe and give their superstar a rest.
The Lakers, who have already clinched the #1 seed in the Western Conference, dropped a 113-97 team to a motivated Rockets team that took full advantage of LeBron’s absence.
Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers in scoring with 21 points in LeBron’s absence, while James Harden torched their defense, scoring 39 points and dishing out 12 assists to lead his team to an important win.
James isn’t expected to miss any significant time for Los Angeles, who likely just erred on the side of caution when it came to their 35-year-old superstar. LeBron has missed only four games this season.
With three games remaining in the regular season, it remains to be seen if LeBron will just sit out the rest of the pre-playoff slate or if he’ll return to the court prior to the Lakers’ first round series.