January 11, 2019 / 1:32 AM / 12 days ago

NBA notebook: James not ready yet, but closer

The Los Angeles Lakers said LeBron James’ groin injury is healing, and the star forward has been cleared to increase his on-court activities.

FILE PHOTO: Jan 9, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (in the gray jacket) celebrates with teammates during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

The team said James will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, meaning he is expected to miss the next three games: Friday at Utah, and home games Sunday against Cleveland and Tuesday against Chicago.

James, 34, has not played since sustaining the injury during a win at Golden State on Christmas Day.

The Lakers have gone 3-5 in his absence, including consecutive road wins earlier this week at Minnesota and Dallas.

—Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins is targeting Jan. 18 for his return to the court, and said he plans to start when the Warriors face the Clippers in Los Angeles.

Head coach Steve Kerr confirmed Thursday that Cousins, who joined the Warriors on a one-year, $5.3 million deal in free agency, will start immediately upon his return.

Cousins, a four-time All-Star, has not played since he suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon playing for the New Orleans Pelicans against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 26, 2018.

—Cleveland Cavaliers center Larry Nance Jr. could miss at least two weeks after an MRI revealed a sprained MCL in his right knee, ESPN reported.

Nance, 26, left Tuesday’s loss to Indiana after colliding with Pacers forward Thaddeus Young on a first-quarter drive to the basket. After making 1 of 2 free throws, he limped off the court and did not return.

In his first full season with Cleveland, Nance has appeared in 39 games (17 starts) and is averaging 8.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.5 steals in 25.6 minutes. All of those numbers are career highs.

—Field Level Media

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