LeBron James Injury Rocks Lakers In Loss To Hawks, Depleted 76ers Cruise Past Kings


LeBron James crashed out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 99-94 loss to the Atlanta Hawks Saturday with a right ankle injury that will sideline the NBA superstar indefinitely.

The Lakers superstar collapsed to the Staples Center court in agony after a collision with Atlanta’s Solomon Hill in the second quarter, crying out in pain and clutching his right ankle.

The 36-year-old returned briefly to hit a three-pointer before limping back to the locker room, knocking over a chair in frustration.

ESPN later reported that an MRI scan revealed a high ankle sprain and that James faced an “indefinite” injury layoff.

Depending on the severity, high ankle sprains can take anywhere from a few weeks up to several months to recover from.

James did not speak to reporters, but tweeted later that he would return as soon as possible.

“Nothing angers and saddens me more than not being available to and for my teammates!” James wrote. “I’m hurt inside and out right now. The road back from recovery begins now. Back soon like I never left.”

A lengthy layoff for James would be a devastating blow to the reigning champion Lakers, who are already without star Anthony Davis as he recovers from Achilles tendon trouble.

“It’s certainly going to be a challenge any time you’re undermanned,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “But if you play team-first basketball and you defend at our level you’ll have a chance to win and that’ll be our mindset.”

Lakers team-mates Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell admitted that the sight of James leaving the arena was unnerving.

“We do forget he’s human sometimes, to see him in pain like that,” said Harrell, who was unhappy with Hill’s dive for the ball that led to James’s injury.

“We don’t feel like it was one of those basketball-type plays,” Harrell said. “He had to go through his leg to get the ball.”

With James missing, the Lakers offense struggled to get in the groove as the Hawks — fueled by 27 points and 16 rebounds from John Collins — notched their eighth straight victory, the longest active streak in the league.

The Lakers fell to 28-14 to remain in second place in the Western Conference behind the Utah Jazz.

The Hawks improved to 22-20, tied for fourth with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference led by the Philadelphia 76ers — who beat the Sacramento Kings 129-105 despite the absences of three injured starters.

Shortly before tipoff, the Sixers announced that Ben Simmons would be sidelined with a sore left knee.

Joel Embiid missed his fourth straight game with a bone bruise in his left knee and Seth Curry was out with a sprained left ankle.

Tobias Harris led the Sixers with 29 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Shake Milton added 28 points and Danny Green chipped in 18.

Despite the lack of star-power, the 76ers set an early tone, scoring 42 points in the first quarter. They led wire-to-wire, pushing their advantage to as many as 36 points.

The Milwaukee Bucks kept the accelerator down, notching their sixth straight victory 120-113 over the San Antonio Spurs.

Two-time reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and a season-high 15 assists to go with eight rebounds for Milwaukee.

Khris Middleton scored 23 points and Jrue Holiday added 21.

– Grizzlies bounce back –
In Memphis, the Grizzlies got the better of short-handed Golden State, turning the tables on the Warriors a night after losing to them with a 111-103 victory.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 19 points and pulled down 15 rebounds.

Dillon Brooks scored 19, Brandon Clarke scored 16, Ja Morant chipped in 14 with eight assists and the Grizzlies clamped down defensively in a tight fourth quarter to get the win.

The Warriors were without Stephen Curry for a second straight game as he recovers from a bruised tailbone. Kevon Looney, James Wiseman, and Eric Paschall were all sidelined by coronavirus contact tracing.

Court Denies 11 Suspected Pipepline Vandals Bail

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday remanded in Ikoyi Prison eleven suspected vandals accused of bursting petroleum pipelines in Atlas Cove, Lagos.

The suspects are: Sidi Egbayelo, Sunday Shedrack, Edem Okon, Kofa Godwin, Rosemon Neito, Ejona Kpamkpam and Moses Victor. Others are Christopher Sunday, Peter Tay, Remon Uchugwu and Mike Sabato. They pleaded not guilty to the four-count charge leveled against them by the prosecutor.

Justice Musa Kurya took the decision to remand them after listening to the argument of both counsel on the bail application.

The prosecutor, Justin Enang had urged the court to deny the accused bail on the ground that their offence borders on economic sabotage which requires serious sanctions, insisting that the accused are likely to jump bail if granted.

But the defence counsel, McAnthony Aikharialea promised to guarantee a reliable surety who would ensure that they are always in court to answer to the charges, adding that they were ordinary fishermen who were arrested by police patrol team while fishing on the sea.

He stated that the accused were never near the pipelines as at the time of their arrest, maintaining that they will not jump bail if released.

The judge thereafter adjourned the matter to Monday, February 11 for consideration of the bail application.

According to the prosecutor, on December 21, 2012 at Atlas Cove area of Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Court tampered with petroleum pipeline, property of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516 of the criminal code, Cap C38, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

He also accused them of stealing 220 drums of Petroleum product (PMS) valued atN5.3 million, property of the NNPC. He said that they committed an offence by that act and that such offence is punishable under section 390 of Criminal Code, Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The prosecutor in addition accused them of unlawfully dealing in petroleum product without appropriate authority, “thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1 (17) (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”