As James was initially listed as questionable, he heard a ‘pop’ and was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the game. While the Warriors cut the deficit to two points, the Lakers stayed composed led by Ivica Zubac and Rajon Rondo.
With head coach Luke Walton revealing James will undergo an MRI on Dec. 26, the 33-year-old expressed confidence and the initial reports are positive.
Since the muscle is fortunately intact, James reportedly has a slight groin strain after the initial exam, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Yahoo Sources: An initial exam on LeBron James reveals all is intact and that it’s a slight groin strain. It could have been worse.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) December 26, 2018
James is viewed as day-to-day, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
The Lakers say LeBron James will not return to today's game. James' timeline for recovery is considered day to day at this point, according to a league source. However, he will receive a MRI which will give a clearer picture of the extent of the injury.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 26, 2018
Based on these reports, James and the Lakers dodged a bullet considering he heard a ‘pop.’ With James being so durable throughout his 16-year career, the hope is he will not have to miss too many games with a slight groin strain.
If James does, the young core showed they are more than capable of playing at a high level with the support of their veterans. As Zubac had 18 points and 11 rebounds, Rondo had 15 points, five rebounds, and 10 assists.
At 20-14 and fourth in the extremely competitive Western Conference, the Lakers will look to finish 2018 on a high note against the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers. Since they are ahead of schedule, the Lakers are becoming a team no one wants to play in the 2019 NBA playoffs.