James not taking chances

Updated: January 28, 2005, 7:34 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A sprained ankle forced LeBron James to miss his first game of the season Friday night when his Cleveland Cavaliers played the New York Knicks.

LeBron James
Small Forward
Cleveland Cavaliers
Profile
2004-2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM PPG RPG APG FG% FT%
41 25.0 7.4 7.6 .497 .739

"The ankle feels fine. It's not 100 percent, so I'm not going to be able to go tonight," James said after testing the ankle in warmups before the nationally televised game.

Eric Snow replaced James in Cleveland's starting lineup, and Sasha Pavlovic also moved into the starting lineup in place of injured forward Ira Newble.

James sprained his left ankle early in the fourth quarter of Cleveland's victory Wednesday night over Memphis before returning to play the final 4:53.

"I'm going to do everything I can to get ready to get back to my team as soon as possible," James said.

James missed three games last season because of a sprained right ankle.

He is averaging 25.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists for the Cavaliers, who lead the Central Division.

"The closer he is to 100 percent, the better," Cavaliers coach Paul Silas said. "Otherwise you're more susceptible to injury.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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