In perhaps their best win of the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder despite trailing by 17 points in the first quarter.
James suffered a groin strain December 25 and will not join the Lakers on an upcoming two-game road trip.
So, James is basically walking through shooting drills. The Thunder opened the night as 10-point favorites against the short-handed Lakers and, if not for the grandeur associated with a TNT broadcast on a Thursday evening, the contest may have felt rather anonymous. He was cleared to ramp up his basketball activities last week and he's barely moved beyond that in that same amount of time. Lonzo Ball appeared to foul Westbrook well before the OKC star attempted his shot.
With LeBron James out for the 12th consecutive game nursing a groin injury, the Lakers once again needed their young guys to step up and get the job done and it was Kyle Kuzma and Ivica Zubac who answered that call.More news: Meghan Markle sports $35 H&M dress for royal visit
The Lakers have struggled in James' absence and are now 3-8 in their last 11 games, but coach Luke Walton will be glad his team ended their two-game losing streak by recording a 107-100 win over the Chicago Bulls - a game they were expected to win. Not that the injury was Walton's fault, but his inability to coach the Lakers through a trying time has been mediocre at best. The Thunder are 26-18 and have lost five of their last six.
James Harden has been on a scoring tear through the first 41 games he is averaging a league leading 35.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 8.5 assists a game.
Lonzo Ball made a awful decision late in Thursday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. His overall return date to the starting lineup is unknown and he will most likely miss next Monday's game against Kevin Durant the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers made their first 11 free throws.
While LeBron is expected to return to practice next week, the worries of reinjury will be plaguing the minds of the players and management of the Lakers alike. "He can do a little bit of everything", Walton said.