Lakers' James makes a welcome NBA return
Los Angles Lakers coach Frank Vogel has enjoyed what he saw in LeBron James' latest NBA return from injury.
"It is going to take time to get his timing back to 100 per cent, but for most of the game he looked good," Vogel said.
"He looked like his old self again."
James, back after a six-game absence, scored 24 points, including seven key points late,in the Lakers' 122-115 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Anthony Davis, back from a one-game layoff, led the Lakers scorers with 28 points.
The Lakers can notch the No.6 seed in the western conference if they win at New Orleans on Sunday and Portland lose to Denver.
If the Lakers finish seventh, they will be in the play-in tournament against the No.8 seed - either Golden State or Memphis.
James was out for the past six games while recovering from high ankle sprain.
He missed six weeks and then returned to play two games.
"It felt a lot better than the last time I came back," James said, after playing 28 minutes.
"I felt good coming into the game. I think each game I'll get better and better.
"It will take a few games to get it all back."
The Brooklyn Nets' superstar trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden were on the floor together for the first time in three months.
After a slow start, trailing the Chicago Bulls 12-0, the Nets found their groove to record a 105-91 home win.
"It's been a long season, full of ups and downs when it comes to line-ups and having all our guys on the same page but it was good to get everybody healthy, get some minutes with everybody and we're going to keep building from here," Durant said,
The eighth appearance of the season for Brooklyn's Big Three wasn't particularly pretty with 22 points from Irving while Durant added 12 and Harden, in his second game back from a hamstring injury, contributing seven assists, five points and five rebounds in 25 minutes.
The Phoenix Suns maintained their hope of overtaking the Utah Jazz for top spot in the NBA and the western conference with a 140-103 victory over the short-handed San Antonio Spurs.
Phoenix moved within a game of Utah, who conclude their regular season on Sunday in Sacramento while the Suns close their two-game series in San Antonio.
Phoenix swept the season series with Utah.
The New York Knicks hold the edge for the fourth seed in the east by beating the Charlotte Hornets 118-109.
The short-handed Boston Celtics cruised to a 124-108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves as they look to head into the play-in round with some momentum.
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