SEATTLE (AP) -LeBron James missed his sixth game of the season on Thursday night, sitting out against the SuperSonics after spraining his ankle in the second quarter of Cleveland's victory over Portland.
James tested the injured ankle about 90 minutes before the game, taking a series of 3-pointers, but putting very little weight on the ankle and his feet barely leaving the floor as he hoisted jumpers. Once he completed his shooting, James walked quickly off the court, showing a slight limp, sat at his locker and removed the tape from his ankle.
James, the NBA's leading scorer at 30.1 points per game, was examined Thursday morning and was listed as a ``game-time decision'' to play. James missed five games in late November and early December after spraining his left index finger.
``You don't ever want to be without him, but it's my job to coach everyone in that locker room and if he can't go, I've got to get somebody else ready to go,'' Cavs coach Mike Brown said, before learning that James would not play. ``Our trainers are good, our doctors are good, they worked with him all day to see if he could get going tonight.''
Cleveland went 0-5 without James earlier this season.
James hurt his right ankle with 23 seconds left before halftime Wednesday night, but still played 44 minutes. He finished with 37 points and 14 rebounds, and his layup with less than a second left gave Cleveland an 84-83 victory, its 13th win in 16 games.
The Cavaliers are already without forward Anderson Varejao, who was hurt Sunday in a victory over the Lakers, and starting guard Sasha Pavlovic.
Varejao is expected to miss up to four weeks with a left ankle sprain, and Pavlovic is out six weeks with a left mid-foot sprain.
The Cavaliers (25-19) entered Thursday's game against the Sonics (10-35) having won five straight road games for the first time since March 17-April 1, 1998. Thursday night is the last of a three-game West Coast road trip for the Cavs, who play four of the next seven at home before the All-Star Break.
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