Lakers’ LeBron James sits against Nuggets with ankle pain

The Los Angeles Lakers ruled out LeBron James ahead of Monday’s game against the Denver Nuggets due to left ankle pain.

James was originally ruled likely on Monday morning before being downgraded to doubtful and sidelined later in the day.

“You know, with LeBron, it’s just a daily thing how he feels,” said coach Darvin Ham ahead of the Lakers’ 122-109 loss. “He listens to his body. Very responsible in that regard. Of course we played well at the end of the day. Again, we don’t want to expose our lads to something that a little rest can help with.” short-term, or force the issue where it becomes a long-term issue. So it’s perfectly fine if he sits outside.

The news came shortly after James was named Western Conference Player of the Week after averaging 35 points, 8.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists in his last three games. The 18-time All-Star has won the weekly award 66 times in his career, including five times with the Lakers.

James is just 35 points away from joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only member of the NBA’s 38,000 point club.

The Lakers have also been on a good run lately, winning their best five straight games of the season ahead of the matchup against Denver. They are just one game away from 10th with a 19-22 record.

They lost Patrick Beverley to a right hip injury during Monday’s game.

Denver, meanwhile, sits 27-13 at the top of the Western Conference.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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