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Josh Hart, Lakers Young Core ‘Ready To Step Up’ Amid LeBron James’ Injury

Source: Steve Dykes/Getty Images North America

In the 127-101 win over the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James left the third quarter and eventually did not return with a groin injury.

As James will undergo an MRI on Dec. 26, he is reportedly day-to-day with a slight groin strain after an initial exam according to multiple sources.

With James hopefully not missing too many games, the Lakers showed great poise when the Warriors cut their lead to two points late in the third quarter. Led by Ivica Zubac and Rajon Rondo, they earned their 20th win of the 2018-19 NBA season.

If the 33-year-old unfortunately misses time, Josh Hart believes he and the young core are ‘ready to step up,’ according to Lakers:

During the 2017-18 season, Hart, Kyle Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball demonstrated their competitiveness during their rookie seasons. Along with Brandon Ingram, the young core improved by nine games and finished with a 35-47 record, which was their best record since the Kobe BryantDwight Howard era.

When James signed a four-year, $154 million deal in free agency, the narrative quickly changed to the young core being inexperienced. However, at 20-14 and fourth in the Western Conference, Hart and the young core are currently ahead of schedule.

As James patiently wait for the results, the Lakers will be looking to finish 2018 off on a high note against the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers. With both teams in the playoff picture, the Lakers have an opportunity to distance themselves for homecourt advantage.

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