Lakers News: Injury Report Includes Latest News On LeBron James, Chris Paul Ahead Of Suns Road Game – Sports Illustrated

Your Los Angeles Lakers will be without their best player, injured 37-year-old forward LeBron James, for his fifth consecutive contest with a left adductor strain. The rest of the team is looking mostly healthy ahead of tonight's contest against the Phoenix Suns at the Footprint Center.
Per the NBA's latest official injury report, James has been downgraded to out for the game this evening, L.A.'s first of a three-game mini-road trip around the southwest. The soonest the 18-time All-Star can return to the Lakers' lineup now is Friday against the San Antonio Spurs, which will be over two weeks after he first incurred the injury, near the end of a 114-101 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The other officially sidelined Lakers haven't had much of an impact for L.A. to date this season. Rookie shooting guard Max Christie, who had emerged as a deep-bench rotation piece lately, remains in the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Little-used reserve forward Juan Toscano-Anderson will miss his third game with a sore mid-back. Rookie two-way players Scotty Pippen Jr. and Cole Swider are still with the Lakers' NBA G League team, the South Bay Lakers, at present.
In terms of other meaningful Lakers who have had some recent injury scares, it seems that they will be available. Sixth man Russell Westbrook, who left the Lakers' last game against the Spurs on Sunday with his right hand in a wrap after suffering an apparent thumb injury, is not listed on the injury report, so a bullet was dodged there. All-Star center Anthony Davis, who has really come into his own with James absent, is listed as probable to play through the tight lower back that seemed to impede his production earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, the 10-6 Phoenix Suns will be missing two starters in All-Star Chris Paul, dealing with a sore right heel, and power forward Cameron Johnson, who recently went under the knife for a torn right meniscus. Jae Crowder, who started at the four spot for the Suns' 2021 NBA Finals team and on Phoenix's 64-18 club in 2021-22, is still away from the Suns as he awaits a trade. Reserve guard Landry Shamet is in the league's concussion protocols, meaning a ton of minutes will be given to backup point guard Cameron Payne.
Even with all these absences, the Suns remain plenty tough, with All-NBA guard Devin Booker tearing it up lately (he's averaging 27.6 points on .477/.382/.893 shooting splits, plus 5.9 dimes and 4.8 rebounds), perimeter 3-and-D nightmare Mikal Bridges seemingly taking a leap on offense, and maximum-salaried center Deandre Ayton manning the middle. Unless Anthony Davis and the Lakers' role players go absolutely nuts tonight, look for L.A.'s winning streak to end at three games.
Tonight's Suns-Lakers bout will air at 7 p.m. PT on TNT.


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