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Lakers' LeBron James, Russell Westbrook Won't Play vs. Suns Because of Injuries

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 19, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 6: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 6, 2022 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James (left ankle soreness) and Russell Westbrook (left foot soreness) in Monday's game against the Phoenix Suns because of injuries.

Austin Reaves (ankle sprain) will also be sidelined.

James has averaged 27.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game in his 20th NBA season and fifth with the Lakers. He's an 18-time All-Star, 18-time All-NBA team member, four-time NBA champion and four-time NBA MVP, among other accolades.

However, the 37-year-old has been forced to the sideline on numerous occasions this year.

James was ruled out for the Lakers' Dec. 7 game against the Toronto Raptors with left ankle soreness. He played 36 minutes the night before against the Cleveland Cavaliers and dropped 21 points and 17 rebounds in 36 minutes.

He sat out the Lakers' Nov. 7 matchup with the Utah Jazz because of left foot soreness. He returned two days later against the Los Angeles Clippers but departed in the fourth quarter with a left adductor strain and missed the next five games. He returned Nov. 25 against the San Antonio Spurs.

Meanwhile, Westbrook is averaging 14.5 points, 7.6 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game this season. Since taking on a bench role, he averaged 15.0 points on 41.3 percent shooting, 8.0 assists and 6.1 rebounds in 25 appearances.

Not having James or Westbrook means Los Angeles will be without serious star power against Phoenix, as Anthony Davis is reportedly sidelined for multiple weeks with a foot injury. For the season, the 29-year-old is averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.