LOS ANGELES — LeBron James left the court with visible frustration after injuring his right ankle during the Los Angeles Lakers' game Saturday against the Atlanta Hawks.
James left early in the second quarter, and the team later announced he would not return.
The 17-time All-Star appeared to get hurt when he rolled his right ankle and then made awkward contact with defender Solomon Hill. He fell to the court and screamed, briefly rolling around in obvious pain.
But James got up shortly afterward and walked it off during a timeout. The 36-year-old superstar stayed in the game and even hit a corner 3-pointer on the Lakers' ensuing possession.
James then called another timeout moments later and took himself out of the game, smacking a chair in frustration 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.
James is averaging 25.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists in a spectacular 17th 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.
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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press