LeBron returns for Lakers after 5-game absence


SAN ANTONIO — Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James returned Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs following a five-game absence because of a left groin strain.

James started for the Lakers alongside Anthony Davis, Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown Jr. and Dennis Schroder.

Los Angeles went 3-2 without him, including a three-game winning streak, with Anthony Davis taking his game to another level with James sidelined. Davis averaged 33.2 points and 17.4 rebounds in those five games, including a season-high 38 points in a home victory over Detroit on Nov. 18.

Also available for the Lakers against the Spurs were Juan Toscano-Anderson, who had been out with back tightness, and rookie Max Christie, who was in the health and safety protocols.

In his 20th season, James is averaging 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists while playing 35.7 minutes per game.

Friday’s game marked the first of Patrick Beverley‘s three-game suspension for shoving Suns center Deandre Ayton to the floor in Los Angeles’ 115-105 loss to Phoenix on Tuesday.

Los Angeles is seeking its first road victory of the season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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