LeBron James (left knee soreness) will miss his third game in a row when the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m. ET). Anthony Davis (right wrist soreness) is listed as questionable.
Lakers injury report for Hawks game Sunday (at 10am PT):
Malik Monk pic.twitter.com/vjxeuOeqAe
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) January 29, 2022
LeBron had been initially listed as questionable for the Lakers' past two games — both losses, to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday and Charlotte Hornets on Friday — before being ruled out a few hours prior to tip-off (he did some light shooting before both games). As ClutchPoints' Los Angeles Clippers reporter Tomer Azarly noted, the fact that the Lakers are ruling LeBron out nearly 24 hours in advance isn't encouraging.
According to Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, LeBron woke up with soreness on Thursday morning — enough to be ruled out for the first leg of a back-to-back. A bit more concerningly, Vogel said LeBron experienced increased swelling in his knee on Friday. Vogel said LeBron does not need to undergo further testing, though — like anything — that could change.
The Lakers will have two days off after closing out their grueling six-game, nine-day road trip in Atlanta. They'll host the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.
LeBron had not missed a game due to injury since returning from an abdominal strain on Nov. 19. The 37-year old was playing nearly 37 minutes per game — amongst the most in basketball — in his 19th season, which had become a talking point around the club.
Meanwhile, Anthony Davis is listed as questionable for the Hawks clash. AD fell on his wrist during his brilliant performance in Philly, and said it bothered him late in the game. It was not surprising to see him held him out of the second-leg of a back-to-back, which Vogel said the team may have done anyway, as AD is ramping up his conditioning after returning from an MCL sprain earlier this week.
Westbrook was listed as questionable for the Hornets game, but his knee seemed to be fine. He went off for 30 points in the second half, nearly delivering the Lakers an upset victory. Malik Monk was ruled out for his return to Charlotte, so his upgraded status is some good news.
Los Angeles (24-26) is 2-3 on their longest road trip of the season.