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Lakers shut down LeBron for final six games

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LeBron James appeared in the past eight NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – LeBron James’ first season with the Los Angeles Lakers is over.

The team announced Saturday that it will hold out James for the final six games of the regular season to rest a groin injury originally suffered on Christmas Day against the Golden State Warriors.

“After consulting with our team doctors and medical staff, we have decided to hold LeBron out of games for the remainder of the season,” president of basketball operations Magic Johnson said in a statement. “This decision will allow his groin to fully heal, and is best for the future success of both LeBron and the Lakers.”

James, who has appeared in the past eight NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, signed with Los Angeles in the offseason, hoping to lead the Lakers to their first postseason appearance since 2013.

But the first major injury of James’ career cost him 17 games and he lately had been dealing with a left knee contusion. He had been playing on a minutes restriction for most of this month after the Lakers, beset with injuries to other players, fell out of playoff contention after being 25-21 on Jan. 17. James averaged 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 35.2 minutes in 55 games.

He posted the 81st triple-double of his career last Sunday in a 111-106 win against the visiting Sacramento Kings, finishing with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. James, 34, will not be in the playoffs for the first time since 2005, his second season in the league with Cleveland.

James travelled with the team for a two-game road trip that began yesterday in New Orleans.

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