LeBron James (ankle) ruled out for Lakers-Clippers showdown

LOS ANGELES — The so-called “battle for L.A.” will be missing one of its key characters Tuesday.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been ruled out because of left ankle pain, the team announced Monday.

The Lakers (22-22) are No. 9 in the Western Conference standings but 2-0 against their city rivals, the LA Clippers (27-14), the No. 4 team in the West.

James, 39, is in the midst of the most dominant campaign for a player in his 21st season in NBA history, averaging 24.8 points, 7.4 assists and 7.2 rebounds. He is shooting 52% from the field and 39.1% from 3.

It will be James’ fifth missed game this season. The Lakers have gone 2-2 without him so far.

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