LeBron James: The extra five minutes definitely didn't help
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LeBron James acknowledged the extra five minutes against the Utah Jazz "didn't help" when it comes to his recovery from a foot injury. On Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Utah Jazz 135-133 in overtime to improve to 41-38 and secure at least a play-in tournament spot.
The Lakers had a 124-114 lead before the Jazz stunningly scored 10 points in a row to force overtime. Fortunately for the Lakers, they were able to deliver in the overtime and escape a disastrous loss. James had a game-high 37 points but he also played for 38 minutes.
"The extra five minutes definitely didn't help. It definitely didn't help but we needed to get the win," James said, per ESPN.
James on his availability against the Los Angeles Clippers
On Wednesday night, the Lakers are playing against the Clippers and James may skip that game.
"How my foot feels when I wake up and I step out of bed. That's been the most important since I've injured it five weeks ago -- the next day after either rehab or training or treatment, whatever. It's always that," James said.
Meanwhile, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham suggested the Lakers are putting the health of their players at the first place. "We have our short-term business that we need to take care of and our long-term business that we need to take care of.
We prioritize a player's health, first and foremost. Regardless of what the stakes are or the implications of with a win or a loss or all of that. We need our players to know that we care about their health, first and foremost," Ham said.
The Lakers and Clippers both have a 41-38 record and they are tied for the sixth place in the West. Their game could very well determine who of the will make the playoffs directly and who will have to seek a playoff spot through the play-in tournament. It remains to be seen if the Lakers can beat the Clippers in one of the key games of the season.