TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James will not play in Cleveland’s game against the Chicago Bulls because of an illness.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue made the announcement about 90 minutes before the opening tip Saturday night, saying James was sick and the four-time MVP wouldn’t attend the game. Lue said he didn’t know how long James will be out.
The Cavaliers were 4-18 without James since he returned to Cleveland in 2014, including 0-3 this season.
James stayed home to rest Saturday morning while his teammates went through a light workout at the club’s training complex in Independence.
Richard Jefferson will start in James’ place for the defending NBA champions. Chicago beat Cleveland 106-94 on Jan. 4.
The Cavs enter 8-1 in February and have a four-game lead over Boston for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
James is averaging 25.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.9 assists this season. He’s also playing 37.5 minutes per game, and Lue has said he would like to get the three-time NBA champion some rest as the playoffs approach.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.