NBA

LeBron James is back, but the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t

The Los Angeles Lakers were defeated by their eternal rival, the Boston Celtics, despite the return of their star LeBron James, dropping LA to 8-9.

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LeBron James is back, but the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t
Paul Rutherford USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James scored 23 points in his return with the Los Angeles Lakers after being out for eight games due to an abdominal injury. But even James could not avoid the resounding 130-108 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday.

Jayson tatum swept the second half vs Lakers

The Los Angeles team who lost five of the games they played without James, were dominated at the TD Garden by the dynamic Celtics led by Jayson Tatum, who had 37 points and 11 rebounds.

Tatum seems to have stepped up his game for two consecutive clashes, scoring above 30 points. Marcus Smart and Dennis Schröder scored 22 and 21 points to make up for the loss of injured Jaylen Brown, who still has no return date( hamstring).

James, who played for the first time in over two weeks because of his abdominal sprain, played for 32 minutes achieving 23 points (10/16 in field goals), 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. But the king, who is turning 37 next month, is dealing with his third significant injury in the past four seasons, and one can tell he was playing with caution on Friday- as he should.

"Physically I felt OK and good enough to know that I can trust my body and get out and play tonight," James said . "Obviously, being out for two and a half weeks, I felt like a rookie ... But I was excited."

Center Anthony Davis seconded 'King James' with 31 points and 6 rebounds but the rest of the Lakers, including their third figure, Rusell Westbrook (12 points), were not able to get their hands on the Celtics' offense.

With this victory in the clash between the NBA's most winning franchises, the Celtics remain in ninth position in the Eastern Conference (8-8), the same place as the Lakers in the West (8-9).