NBA: LeBron has broken nose, could miss next Heat game

Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Perry Jones (3) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena, on Feb 20, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Perry Jones (3) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena, on Feb 20, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

MIAMI (AFP) - Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James suffered a broken a nose and is doubtful for the reigning champion Miami Heat's home game Sunday against Chicago, the team said on Friday.

James suffered the injury midway into the fourth quarter of a 103-81 victory Thursday night at Oklahoma City in a showdown of two of the NBA's top clubs and major stars, James and NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant of the Thunder.

As James drove past two defenders to the basket, he was struck in the nose by Spanish big man Serge Ibaka. His nose bleeding, James continued to the basket, jammed in a slam dunk and then fell in a heap to the court.

James was down for several moments, his blood dripping on to the court, before he was helped up and walked off court to the locker room holding a towel over his nose.

A post-game exam by a doctor did not discover the broken nose but James was re-examined after X-rays Friday following the Heat's return to Miami and the break was discovered.

The team says whether or not James plays in Miami's game against the Bulls will be a game-time decision.

On his Twitter page, James posted a link to a photo image on himself wearing the facemask of the character Bane from the 2012 Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, a protective device covering the nose and mouth.

Along with the image was James' remark - "I mean I just might have to...BaneJames." James scored a game-high 33 points in 33 minutes on the court before leaving and sparked the Heat with solid defensive work, including four steals as Miami avenged a home loss to Oklahoma City last month.

James leads the Heat with 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists a game.

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