LeBron James returned to action on Thursday after being sidelined for five weeks because of a left groin injury suffered around Christmas.
It was his first return to action after missing a career-high 17 consecutive games, the most he’s missed because of an injury in his 16-year career.
The Lakers were 6-11 in his absence.
Bron says he wasn’t 100 percent, but nobody could tell as he finished with 24,14 and 9, just missing a triple-double in a close win over the LA Clippers. His second test will be a formidable one when he meets the two-time defending World Champion Golden State Warriors tonight, primetime on ABC on at 8:30 p.m. ET. the multi-faceted Warriors have been Bron’s arch nemesis for the past five years.
Here’s 5 Things You Need To Know About the Lakers and Warriors as they prepare to meet and the league approaches the All-Star break.
The Warriors and Lakers are meeting for the third time this season. The teams have split two games, with Los Angeles winning in Oakland on Christmas Day and Golden State winning in LA on MLK Day (Jan. 21) behind 44 points from Klay Thompson.
Teacher vs. Student
Lakers head coach Luke Walton was on Kerr’s staff for two seasons (2014-16). He stepped into the interim head coaching position for Kerr, who was forced to take a medical leave of absence from the team in 2015. Walton presided over a 39-4 start to the 2015-16 season that included winning the first 24 consecutive games of the year.
Dub Nation All-Stars
Golden State has three All-Stars for the fourth-straight season: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and “Three-way” Klay, Curry and Durant are in the starters pool. Thompson was selected as a reserve.
Return Of The Boogie Man
Golden State’s DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 13.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists in six games since returning to the lineup on Jan. 18. Head coach Steve Kerr has raved about Cousins’ ability to pick things up and blend with his new teammates.
Coinciding with the arrival of Cousins is the resurgent play of Draymond Green. Green has been one of the catalysts behind Golden State’s recent win explosion (12-1 over last 13 games). Kerr has gone so far as to say that Green is playing as well as he’s ever seen him play, in terms of his defensive energy and ability to push the pace and find open shooters.