Lakers set to face Raptors without LeBron, AD
1: 21 PM ET
Dave McMenaminESPN Staff Writer
- Lakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
- Covered the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.
James is dealing with left ankle soreness, according to the team, and missed his first game since sitting out more than two weeks in November with a left groin strain.
It was the seventh game of the season that James has missed; he’s played in 17. James turned his ankle against the Indiana Pacers last week and then tweaked in subsequent games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards during L.A.’s current six-game road trip.
Ham said he approached James — a 20-year veteran who turns 38 this month — earlier in the trip with the plan to rest him on the second night of the Lakers’ back-to-back in Toronto.
“A lot of players that play at that elite level, a lot of times you just have to save them from themselves,” Ham said during his pregame news conference.
Davis did not play after leaving Tuesday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers with flu-like symptoms. The Lakers have said Davis’ illness is not related to COVID-19.
Lakers coach Darvin Ham said after the 116-102 defeat that Davis had tried to play through the illness, “but he just felt too weak, just too drained — dehydrated a little bit. “
The Lakers planned to administer fluids and medication to Davis at Scotiabank Arena during Wednesday’s game, according to Ham.
“He’ll be here,” Ham said. “We are working around the clock to get him well. “
Patrick Beverley was also out because of right knee soreness. Ham said that Beverley has had “tough matchups” and was now competing his tail off.
The Lakers have won eight of their past 11 games to pull their record up to 10-13 on the season. Ham said that the statuses of James, Davis and Beverley are all a “day-to-day thing.”
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.