After a reporter mentioned that the injury seemingly came and went during the game, James offered a clarification.
Report: That injury seemed to be something that kind of came and went
LeBron: "It's still here. My knee is a little sore right now."
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) December 26, 2023
James collided with Celtics forward Jaylen Brown in the second quarter, with the Lakers star kneeing Brown in the back. Both players were attended to on the court. Fortunately, the incident didn’t lead to either player missing the remainder of the game.
LeBron went down after this collision pic.twitter.com/WJ2PlUWJ7a
— Lakers Daily (@LakersDailyCom) December 25, 2023
James played about 37 minutes in the 126-115 loss. He finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists while shooting just 5-of-14 from the field.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 40 points and 13 rebounds but was unable to help them to a second consecutive win following a four-game losing streak.
James continues to play well over 30 minutes per game this far into the season despite initial plans for the Lakers to more closely manage his workload. He did not play in a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday because of left ankle peroneal tendinopathy. It was his third game missed this season.
In the 27 games he had played prior to Monday, he was averaging 25.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game while shooting better than 54 percent from the field.
He played in his 18th NBA Christmas Day game, which is the most in league history.
The Lakers are now 16-15 following the loss. They are 2-6 since winning the NBA Cup as the victors of the first In-Season Tournament.
James personally seemed very motivated to win that title, perhaps to add a unique accomplishment to his lengthy NBA legacy. In fact, the 38-year-old was named the first MVP of the tournament.
Now playing his 21st NBA season, James will turn 39 years old in less than a week, on Dec. 30. After recently sitting out with the ankle issue and then having the knee issue coming out of this latest game, perhaps the Lakers will revisit his playing time, at least in the near term.
They next play on Thursday against the Charlotte Hornets, and it will be worth keeping an eye on whether James will be able to suit up for that one.