LeBron James sits with strep throat, could miss more time

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 23:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes to the basket against the New York Knicks on February 23, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (AP) LeBron James did not play in Cleveland’s game against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night because of strep throat.

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue announced James’ absence about 90 minutes before the opening tip of the Bulls’ 117-99 victory. Lue said James was sick, and the four-time MVP didn’t attend the game. Lue said he didn’t know how long James will be out, then confirmed James had strep throat after the game.

The Cavaliers are 4-19 without James since he returned to Cleveland in 2014, including 0-4 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 started in James’ place for the defending NBA champions and scored nine points. Chicago has won all three games against Cleveland this season.

The Cavs are 8-2 in February and have a 3 1/2-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.