LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James left in the second quarter with a high right ankle sprain that the Lakers said will sideline him indefinitely, and Los Angeles went on to fall 99-94 to the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.
Two hours after the game, the Lakers announced that James is out indefinitely. The defending NBA champions already are without All-NBA big man Anthony Davis, who has missed 14 consecutive games with a right calf injury and likely won’t play again until April.
“Nothing angers and saddens me more than not being available to and for my teammates!” James tweeted later Saturday. “I’m hurt inside and out right now. The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left.”
James was hurt when he rolled his ankle under Solomon Hill, who was called for a foul as he reached awkwardly for a steal. The 36-year-old superstar screamed and fell to the court clutching at his ankle, yet he got up and briefly stayed in the game.
After the injury, James hit a corner three-pointer that extended his NBA-record streak of games with at least 10 points to 1,036, but he called a timeout and left the court shortly afterward. James knocked over a chair in frustration as he went to the locker room.
John Collins had 27 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, and Trae Young added 14 points and 11 assists for the Hawks. They opened an eight-game trip with their eighth straight victory under new coach Nate McMillan — but only after their defending champion opponents lost their 17-time All-Star to an injury that could shake the NBA’s balance of power if it turns out to be serious.