Lakers' LeBron says he re-injured groin in loss to Clippers

LeBron James returned from a groin injury, which flared up after a clash with Patrick Beverley on Christmas Day.

LeBron James (L) faces Patrick Beverley (R).   -  Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James suggested he re-injured his groin in the Christmas Day defeat to rival Los Angeles Clippers.

James returned from a thoracic muscle strain as struggling Lakers went down 111-106 against the Clippers at Staples Center on Wednesday.

Three-time NBA champion, who missed the loss to the Denver Nuggets, was nine of 24 from the floor and two of 12 from three-point range for 23 points and 10 assists.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, James – whose first season with the Lakers was ravaged by a groin injury – said he was kneed in the groin by Clippers opponent Patrick Beverley.

"I felt healthy going into the game. The second or third defensive possession I got kneed in the groin taking a charge from Pat Bev," James said.

"That kind of set me right back to where I was five days ago."

It was another disappointing outing for Western Conference leader Lakers (24-7), which crashed to a fourth consecutive defeat.

Lakers lost to Clippers (23-10) for the second time this season, having dropped Opening Night against Kawhi Leonard's team.

"They got stops, they made shots," James said. "When we got stops, we weren't able to counter on the other end and make shots. We'll watch the film at our next practice and see ways we can get better.

"It's a long season, it's a marathon, so, you know, it was a great atmosphere. We had a chance to win. But they made the plays."

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