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Lakers Injury Report: Is LeBron James Playing Tonight vs Nuggets With Mega Milestone Awaiting?

Published 03/02/2024, 9:01 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

The Los Angeles Lakers have had an underwhelming season so far. Dwelling on the tenth position in the Western Conference, it is significant that in order to secure a favorable playoff draw, with 39-year-old LeBron James spearheading the Lakers’ resurgence, the team has gained some consistency, a couple of good wins, and team rhythm. LeBron continues to write the final chapters of his enduring legacy, and in the Lakers’ upcoming game, he might achieve yet another unprecedented milestone.

The Lakers face the reigning champions, Denver Nuggets in their next game. However, fans of the Lakers face an anxious wait, as the availability of LeBron James and Anthony Davis remains uncertain for tonight’s crucial game against the Nuggets. The Los Angeles Lakers have listed LeBron James (left ankle peroneal tendinopathy) as questionable. This suggests that there’s a slim possibility that LeBron may not have the opportunity to reach the milestone of scoring 40,000 regular season points against the reigning champions.

Cam Reddish (right ankle sprain) and Anthony Davis (bilateral Achilles tendinopathy) are listed as probable. Gabe Vincent (knee), Christian Wood (knee), Colin Castleton (right wrist), and Jarred Vanderbilt (mid-foot) all remain out with their respective injuries with no set timetable for a return.

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King James received treatment on his injured ankle over the All-Star break and has been able to play the last four games after missing one against the Golden State Warriors. That includes playing in both ends of a back-to-back where LeBron led the Lakers to a comeback victory over the L.A. Clippers and then led them to an overtime win over the Washington Wizards.

Currently, LeBron has scored 39,991 points, which means he’s just nine points away from the milestone. If LeBron plays, he will surely reach the unprecedented milestone, as he scored double-digit points in his last 1,205 games. Furthermore, Bron has been crucial in the Lakers’ recent uptick in performances and results. He has averaged 26.4 points, 8.7 assists, and 5.6 rebounds in the last 10 games. It’s unlikely that LeBron would miss such a pivotal game, especially at this critical stage of the season.

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On the other hand, the big news for the Nuggets is that Jamal Murray is listed as ‘Questionable’ with an ankle sprain in the game against the Miami Heat on Thursday night. Murray torched the Lakers over the past year so his status will definitely be something worth monitoring leading up to tipoff. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is also listed as ‘Questionable’ for personal reasons. So there’s a genuine chance that the Nuggets will have to take on the Lakers without their starting backcourt.

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Predicted Lakers Lineup if LeBron James plays tonight

The game between the two giants is scheduled to tip off by 8:30 PM, Eastern Time at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. The game promises to be a fascinating affair between two teams vying for the title. However, the Nuggets are much better equipped than their opponents. Furthermore, the Denver Nuggets are currently on a five-game winning streak. They could start the game with Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, and Nikola Jokić.

The Lakers go into the game as the underdogs. However, fans shouldn’t underestimate them, as they possess the likes of LeBron and AD. The duo have stepped up in recent weeks, posing a challenge for the Nuggets’ roster to contend with. With their playoff spot on the line, the Lakers could begin the game with D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, LeBron James, Rui Hachimura, and Anthony Davis.

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This game could prove tougher than usual for Denver, as the Lakers have been playing well lately – especially at home, and seem to be ramping up for a playoff push. On top of that the Nuggets are fairly banged up, which could make things difficult.

 

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Written by:

Dushyant Singh

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Dushyant Singh is an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports. Ever since the Lakers’ Orlando Bubble victory, he has maintained a vigilant eye on the NBA with his research-heavy perspective, along with a specialization in covering predictive lineups. He keenly observes the evolving narratives that unfold each season.
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