The King is back.
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LeBron James returned from an almost three-week absence for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Boston Celtics on Friday night. James had been out of the Lakers lineup since November 2, misisng the team's past eight games with an abdominal strain.
He was listed as a gametime decision with the team announcing he would play just before tip-off.
The King has arrived ... and will play. pic.twitter.com/QCkNnoxfhW- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 19, 2021
Prior to his injury, James was averaging 24.8 points - his lowest scoring average since his rookie season - while also averaging his least amount of rebounds (5.5) also since his rookie campaign and his least amount of assists (7.0) since 2015-16. Most concenring was his shooting percentage (46.7 percent) which was also his lowest since 2003-04.
James played 32 minutes against Boston, and looked like his old self for large parts of the contest, hitting fadeaways, and taking it strong to the basket and absorbing contact.
Play through the contact 😤 pic.twitter.com/sxgVDMk1uf- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) November 20, 2021
MORE: Will LeBron James' return fix Lakers?
He finished with 23 points (10-for-16 from the field), six rebounds, two assists and two steals before exiting the game for good with 4:26 left in final quarter.
LeBron James and Jayson Tatum show off their fadeaways on ESPN.@celtics lead the @Lakers in the third quarter. pic.twitter.com/9iXDdeGXOg- NBA (@NBA) November 20, 2021
He played 32 minutes and recorded a team-best plus-minus of -4, among Lakers players to have logged more than 20 minutes.
"Felt okay," James said postgame. "Felt like a rookie again being away from the game."
"Obviously being out two-and-a-half weeks, I just felt kind of like a rookie again after being away from the game." @KingJames on how he felt in his return and the sense of urgency for the team. pic.twitter.com/Vk5566Emzc- Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) November 20, 2021
With the 130-108 loss, the Lakers have dropped to 8-9 for the season and 4-3 in games when James suits up.
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