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NBA - US Sports: James hopes to avoid absence

Los Angeles Lakers suffered a damaging loss at New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday and may also have lost star man LeBron James to an ankle injury.

The Lakers are battling it out for a place in the play-in tournament and they are currently 40/1 to win the NBA Championship outright.

Pelicans bite back to win

New Orleans claimed a 116-108 win on Sunday as they fought back from a 22-point deficit in the second quarter to record a vital victory.

The Pelicans now sit ninth in the Western Conference with a 32-43 overall record with seven games remaining, half-a-game ahead of the Lakers immediately below them in the final play-in spot.

The Lakers are just one game clear of San Antonio Spurs in 11th and both teams have eight games remaining.

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James turned his ankle in the second quarter but managed to see out the game, finishing with 39 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

The 37-year-old clearly struggled through the rest of the game after picking up the injury, but hopes he will be able to line up against Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

LeBron hopes for positive prognosis

"I mean, I have no idea how I finished the game, to be honest, after watching that replay," said James, via ESPN. "It's pretty nasty."

"I hope not," he said when asked if he may have to miss some games. "I hope not, because I hate missing games. That's not in my nature."

The Lakers are in real danger of missing out on the post-season altogether, but James still believes they can make an impact in the play-offs - if he is able to avoid a stint on the sidelines.

He added: "I still feel like if I'm on the floor and I can make things happen, then we still got a pretty good chance to make something out of this season."

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