Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was dominant in the team's second-round series win over the Houston Rockets. But James is nursing a bit of a thumb injury.

LeBron told reporters–including Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times–said he injured the thumb in the Rockets series, though he added it is not much of a concern going forward.

The Lakers are looking to carry their momentum into the Western Conference finals against a Denver Nuggets team that just overcame another 3-1 deficit.

Basketball fans anticipated a potential “Battle for L.A.” series between the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers even before the season began.

Indeed, it appeared things were headed that way after the Clippers established an apparent stranglehold on the series. Los Angeles even led by double digits in Game 5 and Game 6. But the resilient Nuggets would not die, with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray leading Denver to a pair of astounding comeback wins.

The winner-take-all Game 7 would see the Nuggets close the deal, as Denver held Kawhi Leonard and Paul George scoreless in the fourth quarter.

The Lakers will need LeBron in MVP form to reach the NBA Finals.

James was outstanding against the Rockets, averaging 25.8 points, 10.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists to go along with 2.0 steals and 1.8 blocks. LeBron had plenty of success getting downhill in the half court and scoring at the rim, as well as running in transition for easy baskets.

While the thumb might be something of an annoyance, James is determined to get back to the Finals for the first time since 2018.

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