LeBron to miss game against Sacramento with strained groin

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The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday at the buzzer, and small forward Kyle Kuzma is pinning the loss on his shoulders.

"I take a lot of pride in [staying healthy], so that is why it pissed me off not being able to go back into the game", James said.

But the Lakers don't have anytime to lament what could have been.

The Lakers are looking to their floor general to be a mentor to second-year guard Lonzo Ball while helping to anchor a team riddled with young talent.

The Los Angeles Lakers looked just fine for 3 ½ quarters in their first game without LeBron James.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma drives around Sacramento Kings forward Nemanja Bjelica during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Sacramento Calif. Thursday Dec. 27 2018

Lakers coach Luke Walton said the team wouldn't rush James back. And even while taking a backseat for the most part offensively, has averaged 15.5 points per game this season.

"Obviously, we want him back soon as possible", said Walton. Willie Cauley-Stein had 19 points and eight rebounds, while Iman Shumpert scored 18 points and matched his career high with six 3s.

The three-time National Basketball Association champion suffered the injury in the third quarter, and scans later revealed the injury was much better than first feared. "Heck of a win".

He bounced back in a big way against the Kings, though, scoring 20 points with 12 assists and nine rebounds while shooting 8-13 from the field. Rajon Rondo (sprained right ring finger) and JaVale McGee (respiratory infection) were inactive.

The Lakers begin a four-game homestand Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

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