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Lakers' LeBron James Out vs. Heat Because of Non-COVID-19 Illness

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 4, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (6) goes up for a dunk as Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal (3), Monte Morris (22) watch during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 119-117. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

The Los Angeles Lakers announced that LeBron James will miss his team's home game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday due to a non-COVID illness. In addition, Lonnie Walker IV will sit with left knee soreness.

James has posted 29.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game in his 20th NBA season. He is an 18-time All-Star, 18-time All-NBA player, four-time NBA MVP and four-time NBA champion.

James has also been on fire of late, averaging 34.5 points on 58.2 percent shooting, 7.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists in 11 games. Over his last two games, James has posted an average of 45.0 points, 10.5 boards and 7.5 dimes.

Unfortunately, injuries have sidelined James on numerous occasions this year.

He was out for his team's 130-104 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 19 because of left ankle soreness. The night before the Suns game, James posted 33 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in a 119-117 win over the Washington Wizards.

James also sat with left ankle soreness Dec. 7 versus the Toronto Raptors. In addition, he missed a Nov. 7 matchup with the Utah Jazz with left foot soreness. He came back two days later against the Los Angeles Clippers but departed that game with a left adductor strain and sat the next five games.

Losing James for any amount of time is difficult, but it's even more concerning with big man Anthony Davis out with a right foot injury.

The onus will be on Russell Westbrook, Austin Reaves and Dennis SchrΓΆder to pick up the slack in the interim.

James' next opportunity to return to the court will be Friday at home against the Atlanta Hawks.