LeBron James Returns from Injury in Victorious Battle of Los Angeles

Luke Walton

Luke Walton

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James returned to the court Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers after missing 17 games due to a groin injury he sustained on Christmas Day.

Late in Thursday night's battle between the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, center Boban Marjanovic took an elbow from Lance Stephenson on a drive to the basket that potentially changed the game.

When the Lakers first saw the Clippers in December, James had just suffered his groin injury.

Without James in the lineup, the Lakers went 6-11 so it was certainly a boost to have the King back on the floor. He's averaging 50.6 FanDuel points through 35 games this season.

Stephenson scored the fast-break layup on a feed from LeBron James while getting hit by Marjanovic, who was assessed a personal foul.

"I'm about 80 [percent] right now, but I was good enough to feel confident and push throughout the game", James said.

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"I'll gain my rhythm as the season continues, and I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel tomorrow".

"I worked my ass off to get back to this point", James said.

The 34-year-old also added 14 rebounds and nine assists in the win, finishing an assist shy of a triple-double, and he believes the Lakers can put themselves back in the postseason conversation once he gets back to full fitness. "That's going to be the tell-tale sign of the rehab and the work I've been putting in these last five weeks".

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

Avery Bradley and Williams missed on the same possession, and Williams missed a technical free throw for the Clippers.

The game could go either way, but the Lakers really, really need it go their way.

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