James misses 1st game of season for Lakers


Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James drives past Milwaukee Bucks’ Wesley Matthews during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James won’t play for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Denver Nuggets, the first game he’s missed this season.

The 34-year-old superstar sat out Sunday night because of a thoracic muscle strain. He’s listed as day-to-day and coach Frank Vogel had no estimate on how long James would be out. He was hurt in a loss at Indiana on Tuesday and then played through it in a defeat at Milwaukee two nights later.

James has averaged nearly 35 minutes this season, helping the Western Conference-leading Lakers to a 24-5 start. He’s averaging 25.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 10.6 assists in his 17th season.

Last season, his first with the Lakers, James was limited to 55 games because of a groin injury.

Forward Kyle Kuzma returned Sunday for the Lakers after missing five games with a sprained left ankle. He also missed four games in October with a stress reaction in the same ankle.


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