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LeBron James returns vs. Clippers, leaves late with sore left leg/groin

The Lakers star scores 30 points against the Clippers but suffers an unspecified leg injury midway through the 4th quarter.

Game Recap: Clippers 114, Lakers 101

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James returned to action Wednesday against the LA Clippers but was forced to leave late with what appears to be another nagging injury.

James missed the Lakers’ last game, a 139-116 road loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday, because of a foot injury. The 18-time All-Star scored 30 points on 12-for-22 shooting against the Clippers, but it wasn’t enough to avert a 114-101 loss that dropped the Lakers to 2-9, just 1/2 game out of last place in the Western Conference.

James missed the final 5:41 after leaving with what the Lakers later termed a sore left leg.

James called it a groin strain, saying he felt “good” after the game but will have to wait for a more complete medical exam on Thursday to determine the full extent of the injury.

“I feel good, besides the injury,” James said. “We’ll get pictures on it tomorrow and go from there. Didn’t do anything strenuous on the play. When I landed, I felt a little spasm or strain in my groin. Immediately I asked to come out on the next play down.”

James said the injury doesn’t feel as painful as his groin injury from Christmas 2018 during his first season with the Lakers. He missed a career-high 17 games with that injury.

James, on pace to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this season to become the NBA’s career scoring leader, hit four 3-pointers and added eight rebounds and five assists against the Clippers while finishing one shy of his season high in points.

“We’ll let him see our medical staff first,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “It’s just a lot of adversity. He’s been trying his heart out just to be there for us and play at a high level. I thought he had it going really, really well tonight. But it’s the NBA season, man. You’ve got to be ready for a little bit of everything, so we’ll see what the results are once he gets evaluated and be ready to move forward.”

Anthony Davis had 21 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers, who dropped to 2-9 with their fourth consecutive defeat. Russell Westbrook added 14 points and nine assists, but the Lakers have the NBA’s second-worst record so far.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.