Lakers 'optimistic' about LeBron injury

Lakers' Rajon Rondo finds other ways to channel his competitive fire

Lakers guard Rajon Rondo sidelined earlier this season with a broken hand is recovering from a second surgery

LeBron James wasn't available in that game and is expected to miss the team's next two games, so it'll be the same players lining up again in this one.

In his first season with the Lakers, LeBron James is averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.

The 34-year-old suffered the injury during the Christmas Day defeat at the Golden State Warriors.

'I'm optimistic about life, ' Walton said when asked if he's optimistic about three-time National Basketball Association champion James.

James strained his groin on Christmas.

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Thunder center Nerlens Noel has passed the NBA-mandated concussion protocol and will be available for the Thunder's home game against the Lakers Thursday night, the team announced Thursday afternoon.

"We don't give a s-- what nobody thinks or says", Paul told The Athletic's Sam Amick.

The 13 games that James will miss - now that Oklahoma City and Houston are off the table - will match the most he has missed in a season when he reached that same total in the 2014-15 campaign. "I don't know the (exact) amount of running he's doing". I just know he seems to be in good spirits.

While he still isn't participating in full-court drills, LeBron increased his workload during Tuesday's shootaround. There's simply no reason for LeBron to try and get back out onto the court before he's completely ready, no matter how much the Lakers are struggling. Los Angeles (24-21) is 4-7 in his absence after Tuesday's 107-100 win against the hapless Bulls snapped a two-game losing streak.

"It's a tough three-game stretch", Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma said.

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