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#pounditFriday, May 7, 2021

LeBron James exits Lakers’ loss early due to sore right ankle

LeBron James

This is not what the Los Angeles Lakers wanted to see.

LeBron James exited the Lakers’ 121-114 loss at home against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night due to a sore right ankle.

James was replaced with 6:42 left in the game but never reentered. His team was down by 16 at the time, so it’s possible he didn’t want to keep pushing with such a difficult chance of coming back to win the game.

James was playing his second game for the Lakers since returning from an ankle injury that kept him out 20 games. The 20-game absence marked the longest of his career.

The Lakers are 36-28 after their loss to Toronto. They’re in a three-way tie with Dallas and Portland for the No. 6 spot. Making the top six versus spots 7-10 is the difference between a guaranteed spot in the playoffs and having to participate in the play-in event.

The defending champions may say they are not concerned, but they have lost three in a row and have just eight games left to get it together. Between James’ ankle and Anthony Davis’ calf, the Lakers have some health concerns.

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