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LeBron James will not play in final meeting against Cleveland Cavaliers this season

HOUSTON — LeBron James will miss at least the next three games with a strained left groin, the Los Angeles Lakers announced on Thursday. That means James, who spent the previous four seasons in Cleveland, won’t suit up against his old team. 

The Cavaliers make their lone visit to play the Lakers on Sunday night — the third stop on this current six-game road trip. It’s also the final matchup between Cleveland and Los Angeles this season, with the Lakers winning James’ official return on Nov. 21. 

James suffered the groin injury Christmas Day in the Lakers’ win over the Golden State Warriors. He has been sidelined for eight consecutive games. 

Evaluated by L.A.’s team medical staff Thursday, they determined “the healing of James’ groin injury is progressing.” He has also been cleared to “increase on-court functional basketball movements,” the Lakers said in a statement.

While Los Angeles is fighting for playoff positioning in the deep and talented Western Conference, his old squad has crumbled without him once again. Cleveland, which owns the league’s worst record, is riding an 11-game losing streak that could get to 12 by the time Sunday rolls around. 

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