PHOENIX SUNS

LeBron James, Anthony Davis out of Lakers’ lineup vs. Rockets

May 12, 2021, 2:19 PM | Updated: 2:40 pm
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, talks to center Andre Drummond (2) and forward Ant...

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, talks to center Andre Drummond (2) and forward Anthony Davis (3) from the sideline during the third quarter of a basketball game against the New York Knicks Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James tweeted that he won’t be in the lineup as his team faces the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported that fellow star Anthony Davis will join him on the sidelines due to tightness in his groin.

The Lakers will get their two best players a rest as they face a Rockets team that has won one of its last 13 games.

James remains sidelined with an ankle injury that’s limited him to two games played since March 20.

After Wednesday, the Lakers (39-30) only have away games against the Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans to wrap up the regular season.

Los Angeles’ seeding, of course, is notable to the Phoenix Suns (48-21), who have three games remaining in the regular season. That’s because it appears likely Phoenix will head to the playoffs as the No. 2 seed, where the team will face the No. 7 seed after the NBA’s play-in tournament.

According to Basketball-Reference’s playoff seeding projections, the Suns have an 81% chance of finishing the regular season with the No. 2 seed before games started Wednesday. They sit two games back of the Western Conference-leading Utah Jazz and two games ahead of the third-seeded Los Angeles Clippers.

Which team ultimately earns the No. 7 seed will depend on the final week of the season — plus a play-in tournament that could swing matchups a number of different directions.

The Lakers, according to Basketball-Reference, have a 37% chance of holding the No. 7 seed after the play-in games. They have a 27% shot at avoiding the play-in tournament by jumping to the sixth seed and a 6% shot at moving up to the fifth seed.

Los Angeles is a game behind the Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks at the moment.

The Lakers also have an 18% shot at falling to the No. 8 seed. Stumbling to eighth wouldn’t change much other than play-in tournament matchups.

Phoenix will play the winner of the play-in game between the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds. Right now that’s between the Lakers and Golden State Warriors, the two squads that have put the Suns on a two-game losing skid.

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