'Awful to see': NBA rocked by 'devastating' LeBron James moment

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
LeBron James, pictured here limping off the court with an ankle injury.
LeBron James limped off the court with an ankle injury. Image: Getty

LeBron James limped off the court during the Los Angeles Lakers' clash with the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday after suffering a nasty ankle injury.

James left the game early in the second quarter after his ankle twisted while he was competing for a loose ball.

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The Lakers later announced he would not return to the game, with sources telling ESPN he will undergo an MRI.

The 17-time All-Star was trying to retrieve a loose ball when his right ankle got caught under the body of Atlanta player Solomon Hill, who had dived for the ball.

Hill was called for a foul on the play.

James fell to the court and screamed, briefly rolling around in obvious pain.

He got up shortly afterward and walked it off during a timeout, re-tying his shoes and returning to the court.

The 36-year-old superstar stayed in the game and even hit a corner 3-pointer on the Lakers' ensuing possession, but called another timeout moments later and took himself out of the game.

He smacked a chair in frustration, knocking it over as he walked off the court behind the Lakers' basket.

He immediately went to the locker room accompanied by the Lakers' training staff and Anthony Davis, who hasn't played since Valentine's Day due to a right calf injury.

Fans were left gutted by the devastating scenes.

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LeBron James has been in red-hot form

James is averaging 25.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists in a commanding 18th NBA season for the defending champion Lakers, who sit second in the overall NBA standings despite Davis' lengthy absence.

James' inspired play is the biggest reason for Los Angeles' continued success, with his teammates and observers around the league touting him for his fifth NBA MVP award.

He was playing the final game of a spectacular individual week during the Lakers' four-game winning streak, with back-to-back triple-doubles before a 37-point performance against Charlotte on Thursday.

LeBron James, pictured here during the Lakers' clash with Atlanta.
LeBron James was injured in the Lakers' clash with Atlanta. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

James' 3-pointer gave him 10 points against the Hawks, extending to 1,036 his NBA-record streak of consecutive games scoring in double digits.

The streak is by far the longest in NBA history, with Michael Jordan second at 866.

James has missed only one game this season, sitting out the Lakers' final game before he had to travel to Atlanta for the All-Star break.

The Lakers' next game is on Sunday at Phoenix.

with AAP

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