"Dodged a bullet", James tweeted.
National Basketball Association fans are set to see a very different version of the 2018-19 Los Angeles Lakers for the foreseeable future. (Thanks) to the almighty above!
The Los Angeles Lakers had plenty of moments on Thursday night but they were unable to close things out on Thursday night against the Sacramento Kings thanks to a last-second shot from Sacramento's Bogdan Bogdanovic.
James suffered a strained groin during the Lakers' 127-101 blowout road win over the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day. His right leg swung underneath him as he lost his footing, putting pressure on his left leg and groin as he reached forward to try to maintain possession of the ball. James then told the Lakers medical and coaching staff that he felt "a pop".
James has appeared in 156 consecutive games, going back to the start of the 2017 playoffs with Cleveland.
"This is the first close game we've been in that he's not there", Walton said.
The Lakers looked just fine for 3½ quarters in their first game without James, but it was a different story down the stretch, when the four-time MVP's absence was noticeable and costly.
Minus James, the Lakers young guns stepped up with Kyle Kuzma firing a game-high 33 points on an efficient 50% shooting clip and Lonzo Ball flirting with a triple-double with 20 points, a season-high 12 assists and 9 rebounds.