LeBron James has his detractors but there’s no denying his importance to the Los Angeles Lakers. After a five-game absence due to swelling in his left knee, James returned against the New York Knicks Saturday night and his contribution was the main reason for a 122-115 overtime victory.
James showed little signs of rust, playing 40 minutes and tallied his 103rd career triple-double with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Lakers were 21 points down at one point in the game, but their biggest comeback of the season was largely down to James and Anthony Davis who turned in another solid performance with 28 points and 17 rebounds. Malik Monk dropped 29 points of his own, including several big buckets down the stretch.
RJ Barrett led the Knicks with 36 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Julius Randle added 32 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists for New York. Ultimately though, their combined production wasn’t enough for a much needed win.
The Lakers lost four out of five games during James’ absence, and they dropped down to ninth in the Western Conference standings as a result. James, 37, has been hampered by injury issues this season, but when on the floor he’s been fantastic.