LeBron to return tonight vs. Clippers

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LeBron will not have a minutes restriction, per coach Luke Walton, who added that the Lakers will keep a "close eye" on their superstar's conditioning considering he has been out for the last 17 games.

"What I know of him, he's probably pretty locked in right now, ready to compete", Walton said before Thursday's game.

"Definitely ecstatic about being back out there with my guys, but being out five weeks, I'm feeling it right now", James said afterward.

In the 123-120 win over the Clippers, James came up one assist short of a triple-double, scoring 24 points with 14 rebounds, nine assists, one steal, and four turnovers.

The 15-time All-Star was averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.1 assists this season before he went down with the injury.

LeBron James is scheduled to make his return for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Los Angeles Clippers tonight.

Stephenson scored the fast-break layup on a feed from LeBron James while getting hit by Marjanovic, who was assessed a personal foul.

The near five-weeks on the shelf represents the most time James has missed during a season in his 16-year pro career.

Their roster strength was telling as guard Lance Stephenson contributed 20 points, while forward Brandon Ingram had 19 to offset a 24-point showing from the Clippers' Lou Williams and 17 from fellow guard Patrick Beverley.

James has not played in nearly five weeks as he injured his groin against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been without star LeBron James for the past 18 games as he recuperates from a groin strain.

The game could go either way, but the Lakers really, really need it go their way. So if you want to make a push, why not make it on the road?