- Associated Press - Thursday, January 13, 2011

DENVER (AP) - LeBron James was out of the starting lineup for the Miami Heat’s game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night with a sprained left ankle.

James Jones started in his place.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game that James was “feeling a little better but we want to make sure we get him as close to 100 percent as possible.” He will more than likely try to play Saturday in Chicago.

James hurt his ankle on a drive to the basket in the fourth quarter of a 111-105 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. His momentum carried him out of bounds, but he hobbled back onto the court while the Heat still had the ball and sank a 3-pointer from the left corner.

The league’s MVP ended up finishing the game, scoring 27 points, and an X-ray afterward revealed no damage.

“A lot of times he’s able to retie his shoes and feel good,” Spoelstra said. “We know it’s a long season. The big picture is something we still keep in mind.”

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