LOS ANGELES -- LeBron James has been ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers' must-win game against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday after failing to recover from an ankle injury.
A statement from the Lakers said James was unavailable for the road game in Arizona due to a left ankle sprain.
James missed the Lakers defeat to Denver on Sunday, when the 2020 NBA champions crashed to a sixth straight loss that left them on the brink of failing to qualify for the postseason.
With four games of the regular season remaining, the Lakers need to win all of their remaining fixtures and hope the San Antonio Spurs slip up to have any chance of advancing to the play-in tournament.
The Lakers will be eliminated on Tuesday if they were to lose to Phoenix and the Spurs beat Denver in Colorado.
If the Lakers fail to reach the postseason, it would mark only the fourth time since James entered the league in 2003 that he has not gone to the playoffs.
© Agence France-Presse