James misses 1st game of season for Lakers

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Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James drives past Milwaukee Bucks’ Wesley Matthews during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James won’t play for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Denver Nuggets, the first game he’s missed this season.

The 34-year-old superstar sat out Sunday night because of a thoracic muscle strain. He’s listed as day-to-day and coach Frank Vogel had no estimate on how long James would be out. He was hurt in a loss at Indiana on Tuesday and then played through it in a defeat at Milwaukee two nights later.

James has averaged nearly 35 minutes this season, helping the Western Conference-leading Lakers to a 24-5 start. He’s averaging 25.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 10.6 assists in his 17th season.

Last season, his first with the Lakers, James was limited to 55 games because of a groin injury.

Forward Kyle Kuzma returned Sunday for the Lakers after missing five games with a sprained left ankle. He also missed four games in October with a stress reaction in the same ankle.

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