LeBron James will sit out the Los Angeles Lakers‘ game against the Denver Nuggets on Monday night at Staples Center to rest his right ankle, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.
James aggravated the ankle in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 121-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Staples Center. He was held out of the final 6 minutes, 42 seconds on Sunday after experiencing soreness in the ankle.
James will now have three days of rest before the Lakers’ next game, against the LA Clippers on Thursday. He had missed six weeks with a high ankle sprain before returning Friday.
The Lakers have lost six of their past seven games. At 36-28, they have the same record as the Portland Trail Blazers, who are currently in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers are in sixth only because they hold the tiebreaker with Portland from beating the Blazers on Feb. 26.
This season, being No. 7 doesn’t guarantee a team a first-round playoff series. The NBA will hold a play-in tournament in which the Nos. 7 and 8 teams face off and the Nos. 9 and 10 teams also play. The winner of the 7-8 game advances to the first round, and the loser of the 7-8 game plays the winner of the 9-10 game to determine the final playoff berth in each conference.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.