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LeBron James out vs. Warriors with left ankle injury

Posted on February 22, 2024

The Lakers’ matchup against the Warriors will have a new major hurdle. LeBron James, who has dealt with a left ankle injury for much of the season, will miss the game against their California rival.

The Lakers will also be without Jarred Vanderbilt (right midfoot sprain), Gabe Vincent (left knee surgery) and Christian Wood (left knee effusion).

LeBron missing the game is a huge blow for the Lakers, but it comes as no surprise.

James himself hinted he could possibly miss the game versus Golden State and now it's official that he's out. He also missed practice on Wednesday, which the Lakers said was an excused absence.

Wood has been available most of the season, so adding him to the players out gives the Lakers one less big they can use. Luckily, Jaxson Hayes has played well lately, so hopefully, he can step up and perform with Wood, now being unavailable.

It's not all bad news for the Lakers.

Christie and Reddish are now questionable, which is an upgrade from where they were at before the break when both were missing games. If they can both play, it will at least give the Lakers some depth in their backcourt.

There's no reason to sugarcoat it; beating the Warriors on the road will be difficult with James out. The last time the Lakers played the Warriors, it took a double-overtime thriller for the Lakers to pull out the win. James ended the night with 36 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.

You can't replace that production, but the Lakers will have to rally together and have a "next man up" mentality to come out of San Francisco victorious.

It may seem far-fetched, but the Lakers have a few games where they did just that. Their victory against the Boston Celtics came to mind when the Lakers won on the road without James or Anthony Davis available.

Hopefully, with Davis available and the team fresh off the All-Star break, they can continue their winning ways even with LeBron out.