Basketball

LeBron doubtful for Cavs opener

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James will not play in Cleveland's last pre-season game and is questionable for next Tuesday's season-opener against Boston, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said.

James awoke with a sore left ankle after scoring 17 points in his first pre-season appearance, a 108-94 loss to Chicago, and Lue declared he would not train today or play in their exhibition against Orlando tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

The 32-year-old playmaker, who led the Cavs to their first NBA crown last season, missed most pre-season workouts and three pre-season contests with a left ankle sprain suffered on Sept 27.

Lue said: "(James is) pretty mad, pretty pissed off. But I mean, it is what it is."

James has not missed a season-opener in 14 NBA campaigns, but Lue hesitated when asked about his availability against Boston next week.

"He got treatment all day today, so I'm not sure if we should be concerned or not," Lue said. "But it's pretty sore today so we'll just see what happens."

J.R. Smith will start for James against Orlando with Jose Calderon moving into the line-up, Lue said.

James said after the pre-season loss to Chicago that the game was a test to see how his ankle was recovering from the injury.

He said: "I definitely wanted to test it knowing that at least if I tested it tonight, I have a week until the regular season started if I don't play in the Orlando game." - AFP

NBA