By Dom Calicchio-Fox News
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James left the team’s Christmas game against the Golden State Warriors about midway through the third quarter Tuesday evening, with what was said to be a groin strain, according to reports.
Video showed James grimacing in pain as he fell to the floor at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., while struggling to regain control of the ball while driving toward the basket.
James appeared on video mouthing the words, “I felt a pop.” L.A. coach Luke Walton said after the game that James would undergo an MRI on Wednesday to determine the severity of what he said was a strained left groin, ESPN reported in a Twitter message.
James expressed frustration with the injury when speaking with reporters after his departure, but added he was confident that the Lakers’ support staff would help him get back to the lineup.
“It’s pretty rare for me to have an injury, period,” he told the Associated Press. “It happens and we’ve got a great medical staff here, I’ve got a great trainer.
“It’s pretty rare for me to have an injury, period. It happens … I wasn’t able to go back into the game, obviously. I’ll get an MRI tomorrow and see what’s up.”
— LeBron James
“I wasn’t able to go back into the game, obviously. I’ll get an MRI tomorrow and see what’s up,” James continued. “With me with injuries, I’m never too concerned about them. I was able to walk off on my own power. I felt a pop, see if I could stretch it a few times, see if it would relieve but it didn’t. … I did a couple exercises to see if I could continue to go but I didn’t feel like it would benefit my team or me. So I came back and got a jump-start on the rehab.”
The Lakers were leading by 14 points at the time of the injury, with James contributing 17 points, NBA.com reported. Los Angeles went on to defeat the Warriors, 127-101.
The Lakers had announced before the game ended that James would not return.
Sources told Yahoo Sports that the strain appeared to be “slight” and could have been worse.
If James misses the Lakers’ next game, it would snap a 156-game playing streak, including regular season and playoffs, the league site reported.
In earlier action on Christmas Day, the Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 121-114, in overtime at Boston; the Houston Rockets defeated the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder, 113-109; and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the New York Knicks, 109-95, in New York.
In the final Christmas game, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Utah Jazz, 117-96, at Salt Lake City.