LeBron James sits out vs. Rockets; Lakers cite sore groin

LeBron sitting for second game of a back-to-back (0:48)

Marc J. Spears believes that LeBron James should have been sitting for the second game of a back-to-back even without a sore right groin. (0:48)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James sat out Thursday's 113-97 loss to the Houston Rockets because of a sore right groin, the team announced.

James, 35, missed 27 games last season because of a groin injury suffered Christmas Day. This season, he sat out games in December and February for the same reason.

James has averaged 33.5 minutes in the Lakers' four games since the season restart, scoring nearly 20 points per game.

The Lakers, who have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, are 2-2 in the Orlando bubble and have struggled on offense. They are the only team out of the 22 participating in the restart averaging less than 100 points per game.

Lakers backup guard Alex Caruso (neck muscle spasms), who was listed as questionable, did not play against Houston.

Point guard Russell Westbrook missed Thursday's game for the Rockets because of a right quadriceps contusion.

Information from ESPN's Tim MacMahon was used in this report.