LOS ANGELES – The Chicago Bulls spoiled famous person LeBron James’s return from a 13-game harm absence on Thursday, beating the Lakers 118-108 to tighten their maintain on the ultimate Japanese Convention play-in berth.
Zach LaVine scored 32 factors to guide the Bulls, however all eyes have been on James at Crypto.com Area, the place the 38-year-old ahead got here off the bench for simply the second time in his 20-year NBA profession, the one different event coming in December of 2007 when he was with Cleveland.
James, sidelined since February 26 with a tendon harm in his proper foot, checked in to a standing ovation with the Lakers up 12-9 within the first quarter — going via his conventional hand-chalk toss close to the scorer’s desk earlier than hitting the ground.
James led the Lakers with 19 factors in 27 and a half minutes on courtroom. Troy Brown and Malik Beasley added 18 apiece whereas Anthony Davis scored 15.
DeMar DeRozan scored 17 factors with 10 assists for the Bulls, who’re in tenth place within the East, three video games forward of the Washington Wizards for the ultimate play-in event spot and only a hair behind Toronto for ninth.
“My hat’s off to the Chicago Bulls,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham mentioned. “They’re form of combating to get in place like we’re, to safe a place. They got here out with a way of urgency tonight. We got here out a bit of flat, turned the ball over early. We weren’t aggressive sufficient, bodily sufficient. We let one slip right here at house.”
The Lakers, who had gone 8-5 in James’s absence, noticed their three-game profitable streak finish.
They slipped from eighth to ninth within the Western Convention, half a recreation forward of Oklahoma Metropolis and half a recreation behind New Orleans and Minnesota.
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