Lakers star LeBron James will not play against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon at Crypto.com Arena.
Coach Frank Vogel told reporters before the game that the 12:30 p.m. start would prevent the All-Star forward from playing because of soreness in his left ankle.
Anthony Davis, who returned to the lineup on Friday after missing 18 games because of a sprained right foot, will play against the Nuggets, Vogel said.
“Had ankle soreness from the other night,” Vogel said of James. “This is essentially like a back-to-back with the early start, and we won’t be with him today.”
James finished with 38 points and eight rebounds in 39½ minutes in a 114-111 loss to the Pelicans.
The loss leaves the Lakers (31-46) in 11th place in the Western Conference standings, one game behind 10th-place San Antonio, which would be the final team into the NBA’s play-in tournament. The top six teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs while the next four enter at a two-round tournament to determine the seventh and eighth seeds.
The Spurs, who play host to the lowly Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, hold the tiebreaker over the Lakers by virtue of winning the regular-season series.