Published: Tue, February 05, 2019
Sport | By Patty Hardy

LeBron James Returns from Injury in Victorious Battle of Los Angeles

LeBron James Returns from Injury in Victorious Battle of Los Angeles

But James described his 36-day absence some of the darkest days of his career.

"We all just want to get back into the zone, we're very good when we're whole, that's the most important force", James said. "Toughest stretch of my career".

LeBron James finished just shy of a triple-double on his return from injury as he helped the Lakers overcome the Clippers 123-120 in overtime in the Los Angeles derby.

James, who was hurt in the Lakers' win over Golden State on December 25, was initially listed as out for the Thursday night game on Wednesday, and then upgraded to doubtful on Thursday morning.

Despite the Lakers leading by 14 points early in the fourth quarter, they found themselves in a back-and-forth battle with the Clippers.

But "The King" still felt he needed more time to get up to speed, telling reporters afterwards he was only at "80 per cent right now".

"I'll gain my rhythm as the season continues, and I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel tomorrow. That's the tell-tale sign for me is how my body feels after having to play 40 minutes".

Walton offered his update on James, leaving the door slightly ajar for a return, shortly before a team spokesman said James was out. Everybody was huge. It is going to be different guys every night for our team.

LeBron will not have a minutes restriction, per coach Luke Walton, who added that the Lakers will keep a "close eye" on their superstar's conditioning considering he has been out for the last 17 games.

Lou Williams scored a team-high 24 points and Patrick Beverley added 17 for the Clippers, who shot just 53% from the free throw line.

A groin injury caused his worst ever run without playing, during which the Lakers went 6-11.

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