After missing the last eight games with an abdominal injury, LeBron James made his return to the Lakers’ roster last night (Nov. 19). In total, LeBron has missed 10 of the team’s 17 games so far, and Los Angeles only won four of the games he missed. LA headed to Boston to take on their bitter rival Celtics, who were missing star forward Jaylen Brown and starting center Robert Williams.
Boston has been struggling early this season as well, as they entered last night’s game with a 7-8 record. But, they put together their best performance of the young season yesterday, vanquishing the skidding Lakers 130-108. Jayson Tatum’s impressive 37 points and 11 rebounds, along with Dennis Shroder posting 21 points, six rebounds and six assists, in his first game against the Lakers since leaving LA, pushed Boston over Los Angeles.
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Although LeBron put up an efficient 23 points on 10-16 FG in 32 minutes, it was not enough. Post-game, James spoke to the media expressing his concern about their early struggles: “It’s never, ‘We got 65 games left. We damn sure need to play better, no matter who is in the lineup. We have our system and we need to obviously fast-track it and get better with it so we can play, no matter who is out on the floor, we can play at a high level. … There’s no level of panic, but there should be some sense of urgency any time we take the floor.”
The Lakers are still trying to get all the pieces of their new 2021-22 roster to fit with each other, as they added notable names like Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony in the offseason.
Los Angeles hopes to bounce back in Detroit against the Pistons tomorrow (Nov. 21).