"Just dealing with some soreness," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said during his pregame media availability. "Played three games in four nights. Lot of minutes. There's enough soreness to keep him out."
The Lakers' next game isn't until Sunday at New Orleans, giving James a six-day stretch to rest his ailing knee.
It was James' 19th missed game of the season, continuing a string of bad health since he joined the Lakers. He missed 27 games last season and 27 games in his first season with the franchise in 2018-19. The exception came in 2019-20, when James missed only four games and the Lakers, after a lengthy league hiatus, went on to win the championship.
James, 37, is coming off a 38-point triple-double against his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, on Monday night.
Following the game in Cleveland, James said he is "literally having the time of my life right now" despite the Lakers' struggles all season long, and insisted he still has something left to play for.
"I'm going to play with a lot of passion, a lot of energy, give my teammates what they deserve, what they need, and like I said for the rest of the season, hopefully I can stay somewhat injury-free," James said Monday. "Obviously, I'm dealing with a few injuries right now, but I'm working through it and we're working through it and that's all that matters. We leave everything on the floor and control what you can control and what you can't you don't worry about. Just my mindset."