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LeBron James doubtful for Lakers’ trip opener against Bucks

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LOS ANGELES — The Lakers’ six-game road trip has already gotten off to a less-than-ideal start.

Star forward LeBron James is doubtful to play in Tuesday night’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks because of the left ankle peroneal tendinopathy that he’s dealt with for the last few months, the team announced on Monday.

If James sits out Tuesday, it will be the 10th game he has missed this season. The Lakers are 5-4 in games without the four-time league MVP this season, including a 123-122 home win over the Bucks on March 8.

D’Angelo Russell, who didn’t play in Sunday’s 150-145 home win against the Indiana Pacers because of a non-COVID illness, wasn’t listed on the injury report for Tuesday and is expected to be available.

James, 39, played 38 minutes in the victory over the Pacers, finishing with 26 points (8-for-19 shooting), 10 assists and five rebounds.

“It’s a day-to-day process,” James said of his ankle after Friday’s home win against the Philadelphia 76ers. “Every day I’m working on it, working at it, continue to make that priority No. 1 going down the stretch of the season.”

The Lakers are entering this trip as the ninth-place team in the Western Conference standings with a 39-32 record, the first time they’ve been at least seven games over .500 since the end of the 2020-21 season. They have 11 games left in the regular season.

“We know where we are right now,” James said. “Just continue trying to play some good basketball. That’s a very testy road trip for us.

“It’s very rare, I can’t remember in my career where I’ve had such a late East Coast road trip or vice versa when I was in the East to go to the West so late in the season, so that’s challenging. But we’re looking forward to it.”

The Lakers enter the trip, which continues on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies, winners of 15 of their past 22 games, including their last three.

Their recent success has kept them from falling below No. 10 in the standings, with the 10th-seeded Golden State Warriors and 11th-seeded Houston Rockets entering Monday’s schedule 2½ and 3½ games behind the Lakers, respectively.

But the Lakers also haven’t been able to make a jump in the standings either, staying 2½ games behind the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks, who entered Monday tied and occupying the seventh and eighth seeds.

“A little,” Anthony Davis responded when asked how much he watches the standings. “I mean, it’s everywhere right now. But for us, just try to control what we can control and that’s winning one game at a time.

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“Obviously we try to figure out how far we are behind the sixth seed, but you stress yourself out putting too much pressure on yourself when you are constantly looking at it. But we’re ninth right now, so we just got to continue to play our style of basketball and focus on us and taking it one game at a time and worrying about winning that game. And if we continuously do that, then the rest will take care of itself.”


Davis on Monday was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from March 18-Sunday.

It was the first time Davis received the award this season and the 10th weekly honor of his career.

Davis led the Lakers to a 3-0 record in last week’s games, averaging 27 points (68.6% shooting%) 16.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, two blocked shots and 1.3 steals.


When: Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. PT

Where: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee

TV/radio: TNT/710 AM

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