Report: LeBron James (ankle) to miss at least next two games

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is expected to sit out the team’s next two games — on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers — to rest his injured ankle, ESPN reported Tuesday.

After missing 20 games because of the injury, James returned to play in the Lakers’ loss to Sacramento on Friday and their loss to Toronto on Sunday. He had 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists against the Kings; and added 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists against the Raptors.

He didn’t play the last 6 minutes, 42 seconds of the Raptors game, and then sat out Los Angeles’ win over Denver on Monday.

ESPN added that James could miss more games in order to be better prepared for the postseason.

This season, the four-time NBA MVP is averaging 25.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

The fifth-place Lakers, who have seven games left in the regular season, are 37-28, a half-game ahead of the sixth-place Dallas Mavericks and one game ahead of the seventh-place Trail Blazers. The top six teams in the Western Conference qualify for the playoffs without having to compete in the play-in tournament between the teams seeded seventh through 10th.

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