According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the 18-time All-Star is clear to play after being sidelined due to a left groin strain. It’s unclear whether James will have a minutes restriction, though.
So far, James has played 10 games this season. He’s averaging 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game. The star forward is shooting 45.7%, including 23.9% from 3-point range. However, although James is back, Anthony Davis is reportedly listed as probable for Friday night’s game.
During the Lakers’ five-game stretch without King James, they managed to have a 3-2 record, including a three-game winning streak. The streak ended before the NBA’s Thanksgiving break with a 115-105 loss at the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. The game was intense, and an altercation between Deandre Ayton and Patrick Beverley broke out.
The Lakers (5-11) won’t have one of their best defenders in Beverley, as he was given a three-game suspension for pushing the Suns center.
The Lakers have been playing well without LeBron James
The Lakers have been struggling the entire season, and the blame has been tossed around. Even with Russell Westbrook on the bench, the team wasn’t able to get some wins. Los Angeles is 5-11, which puts them right above the Houston Rockets, who are at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
Before the four-time champion was injured, it took the Lakers five straight losses before they won a game. Luckily for them, they had back-to-back wins, giving them confidence after their horrific start. After that, however, the Lakers suffered another five-game losing slump.
With James out of the lineup, the team looked different. Players like Lonnie Walker IV, Anthony Davis and Westbrook were able to take over a few games. That was the reason for their recent three-game win streak that was snapped in Phoenix.
In their matchup against the Spurs (6-3) on Friday night, everyone will get a chance to see how LeBron James will affect the offense.
The Lakers and Spurs will play again on Saturday night in San Antonio.