Kyle Kuzma
In this picture, Kyle Kuzma #0, and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers react during a timeout in the fourth quarter of the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Barclays Center on December 18, 2018 in New York City. Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their third loss in four games without LeBron James, as they went down 107-100 against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

James suffered a groin injury during the Lakers’ Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors and is expected to miss several games. There was no doubt that Luke Walton’s side were going to struggle without their leader.

The Lakers stopped their two game losing streak by recording a win over the Sacramento Kings on New Year’s Eve, but fell to a defeat in their first game of 2019 despite possessing the lead going into the fourth quarter.

And coach Walton’s injury woes were further increased after Kyle Kuzma, who is the second highest scorer behind James this season, failed to reappear after half-time due to a back injury.

The extent of the damage is unclear at the moment, but they can’t afford to lose him at this point when they are without James and veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, who is out for at least six weeks with a hand injury that required surgery.

Lakers reporter Mike Trudell wrote: “Luke Walton said Kyle Kuzma will get an MRI tomorrow morning on his low back. Walton noticed him take a hit there in the first half, and he wasn’t able to keep playing after trying to push through for a few minutes.”

The Lakers take on the New York Knicks in their next game on Friday night at the Staples Center – and in the worst case they could be without James, Rondo and Kuzma.

The Lakers fans, meanwhile, seemed to be in a ‘booing’ mood Wednesday night as they went after Thunder small forward Paul George. He was first booed when the announcer mentioned his name, prior to the start of the game and then every time he touched the ball.

And the booing was due to his decision to re-sign with Oklahoma City during free agency this summer rather than choose the Lakers with whom he was linked heavily. Despite the hate from the crowd he went on to get 37 points and play a key role in his team’s win.

The Lakers fans also went after one of their own, when a section of the crowd seemed to boo Lonzo Ball after he missed a free throw in the fourth quarter. There seemed no such reaction earlier in the season, when James missed free throws that led to his team losing the game.