Los Angeles: Legendary superstar LeBron James will miss the NBA play-offs for the first time since 2005 as the Los Angeles Lakers were officially eliminated with a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
The four-time league MVP James also had his eight-year run to the NBA finals snapped on Friday night as the loss takes the lowly Lakers out of the playoff picture for a franchise record sixth straight season.
“It is a tough season for all of us,” James said. “It is not what we signed up for.
“You don’t even try to wrap your head around it. Just keep pushing. The playoffs are never a promise, you got to put in the work.”
James had 25 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to get the victory in a tight contest that featured plenty of lead changes.
The last time the NBA’s best player wasn’t in the postseason was in 2004-05, his second season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
James played in Friday’s contest at Staples Centre Arena despite missing games recently to get rest for his lingering groin injury.
He also took a hard tumble against the Nets after slipping on the baseline while driving to the basket with 22 seconds left in the fourth. He left the game for one possession, then returned.
James shot eight-of-25 from the floor in 35 minutes of action as the Lakers are 2-11 in their last 13 games.
Joe Harris scored 26 points and former Laker D’Angelo Russell tallied 21 points and 13 assists for the Nets, who are in the midst of a seven-game road trip.