CLEVELAND — LeBron James has been diagnosed with knee and back strains, injuries that are expected to keep him sidelined for the next two weeks and add to an already rocky time for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Cavs said Thursday that James will be treated with “anti- inflammatories, rehabilitation, training room treatments and rest.”

The four-time NBA MVP was examined on Wednesday, when the problems with his left knee and lower back were confirmed. James has never missed more than five straight games in his professional career; if the two-week timetable released by the team holds up, his absence could reach 10 games or more.

James has missed Cleveland’s past two games, and the Cavs are on a three-game losing streak.

They play in Charlotte on Friday, host Dallas on Sunday, visit Philadelphia on Monday, are back home to meet Houston on Wednesday – then head out for a five-game road trip against Western Conference clubs.

“There’s not going to be too much on the court for me right now,” said James, who has the league’s second-best scoring average this season at 25.2 points.

It’s a tumultuous time for the Cavaliers, who are still dealing with the aftereffects of losing center Anderson Varejao for the season. They’ve looked both brilliant and baffling at times in James’ first year back with the club after his four-year stint with the Miami Heat.

And if he misses extended time, as it appears will be the case, the Cavs’ season will likely only be more tested.


BULLS 106, NUGGETS 101: Derrick Rose scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, and Chicago won at home.

Jimmy Butler scored 26 for the Bulls, and Pau Gasol added 17 points, nine rebounds and a career-high nine blocks.

The late surge by Rose lifted the Bulls to their 11th win in 13 games.

Wilson Chandler led Denver with 22 points.

KINGS 110, TIMBERWOLVES 107: Rudy Gay had 21 points, six rebounds and five assists, and struggling Sacramento handed the host Timberwolves their 10th straight loss.

DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and seven rebounds after being ejected a night earlier, and the Kings shot 54 percent.

Andrew Wiggins had 27 points and nine boards for Minnesota.