LeBron James made his return to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup on Saturday afternoon in a huge road win over the Indiana Pacers.
James had only appeared in two games since initially injuring his ankle vs. the Atlanta Hawks on March 20. We are talking about missing 26 of the Lakers’ last 28 games. In his extended absence, the Lakers saw themselves stumble down the Western Conference standings. The Lakers are hoping to get the last spot into the playoff field without having to play in the play-in tournament.
Los Angeles improved to 41-30 on the year with a 122-115 win over the Pacers in Indianapolis.
LeBron James returns to Los Angeles Lakers lineup in win over Indiana Pacers
James played 28 minutes in his Lakers return, scoring 24 points, with eight assists and seven rebounds. You know those 24 points and eight assists were for the late Kobe Bryant, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday evening.
For the time being, this gives the Lakers an identical record with the Portland Trail Blazers, the other team fighting for the No. 6 seed.
If the Lakers want to avoid the play-in tournament, they need to defeat the New Orleans Pelicans on the road Sunday and hope the Trail Blazers fall at home to the Denver Nuggets to avoid any potential tie-breaking scenario.
Even if he is not at 100 percent, James played very well in his return to the Lakers lineup Saturday.