Lakers star LeBron James will sit out Thursday night’s game against the Rockets due to soreness in his groin, the team announced in this afternoon’s injury report (Twitter link via Bill Oram of The Athletic).
James’ groin ailment probably isn’t anything for Lakers fans to worry about. With the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference locked up, the team has little reason to ride its star players hard before the postseason begins on August 17. The Lakers were also in action on Wednesday, so LeBron will be sitting the second half of the back-to-back set.
Meanwhile, the Rockets may be without one of their stars on Thursday night as well. Russell Westbrook is listed as questionable due to a right quad contusion, with a source telling Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link) that the All-Star guard will likely sit out vs. the Lakers.
There’s no indication that Westbrook’s injury is serious either, though these last few seeding games are a little more important for Houston than they are for Los Angeles. The Rockets are currently the No. 6 seed in the West, but they’re tied with the fifth-seeded Thunder and a half-game behind the No. 4 Jazz.
The Rockets will have two days off before facing Sacramento on Sunday, so we’ll see if Westbrook is ready to roll by that point.