James is Day to Day
LeBron James got good news Wednesday on his injured groin.
But his games-played streak will end anyway.
An MRI exam showed that the four-time NBA MVP merely strained his left groin in the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory at Golden State Warriors on Christmas night. James will likely be dealing with soreness for several days, and the Lakers said he won’t travel with them for their game Thursday in Sacramento.
From there, he will be listed as day-to-day.
“Dodged a bullet,” James tweeted.
Thursday will mark the first time James has sat since the final game of the 2016-17 regular season, which he took off for rest. James had appeared in 156 consecutive games, going back to the start of the 2017 playoffs with Cleveland. His last extended absence due to injury was an eight-game stint to deal with back and knee aches midway through the 2014-15 season.
The NBA had its most-watched Christmas schedule since 2011, with 10.2 million viewers tuning in for the Lakers’ victory over Golden State. ESPN says that the audience for that game, the first matching the defending champion Warriors and James since he moved to Los Angeles, was its fifth-largest for one on Christmas. The 2011-12 season began on Christmas after the lockout. The five games Tuesday averaged 5.8 million viewers, an increase of 14 percent from last year.
Mariota hopes to play
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota said he is doing “everything in my power” to be available Sunday night against Indianapolis with a playoff berth on the line. Mariota did not practice Wednesday with what the Titans listed as neck and foot injuries. Mariota declined to detail what symptoms he’s still dealing with after being hurt on a sack late in the first half of Tennessee’s win over Washington last weekend. On his weekly radio appearance earlier Wednesday, Mariota said the hit left his whole right side “numb and tingly.” Mariota also called it unfortunate because nerves take time to recover.
Minnesota routs Georgia Tech
Mohamed Ibrahim ran for career-high 224 yards and two touchdowns, leading Minnesota to a 34-10 victory over Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl. The Golden Gophers (7-6) won three of their last four games, and Ibrahim had a lot to do with that. The redshirt freshman running back had 121 yards rushing in a win at Wisconsin that made Minnesota bowl eligible and ran for 155 yards last month in a victory over Purdue. The Yellow Jackets (7-6) did not have the speed or strength to slow down Ibrahim.