The King Returns:
LeBron James returned to action Thursday night after being sidelined for 17 games with a groin injury.
James’ availability for the game against the Clippers was doubtful, but James played 40 minutes and recorded 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 9 assists in the Staples Arena. James led the Lakers to a 123-120 victory over the Clippers in overtime despite not feeling at his 100%.
Lakers With/Without Lebron:
Here are some statistics comparing the Lakers’ 17 games before James’ injury and 17 games without its captain.
James 17 game absence affected the Laker’s win, scoring and conceding percentages.
Lakers With LeBron:
- Won 10 out of their 17 with James
- Averaged 110 points-per-game
- Average 107 points against per-game
Lakers Without LeBron:
- Won 6 out of their 17 LeBron-less games
- Averaged 109 points-per-game
- Averaged 113 points against per-game
James will look to lead the Lakers to a Western Conference Playoff spot now that he’s back. The Kings’ return comes at an important time with the team in the middle of the most demanding stretch of its schedule.
The Lakers’ next five games are on the road at Golden State, Indiana, Boston, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
NBA Trade News:
The Dallas Mavericks landed All-Star Forward Kristaps Porzingis in a massive 7-player swap deal with the New York Knicks.
Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke will tag along with Porzingis to the Mavericks. Meanwhile, the Knicks welcome Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Mathews, and two future first-round picks.
The team has acquired guard Dennis Smith Jr., center DeAndre Jordan, guard/forward Wesley Matthews and two future first round draft picks from Dallas in exchange for forward Kristaps Porzingis, and guards Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) January 31, 2019
The decision sparked Thursday following a 5-minute meeting where the Latvian and the Knicks management concluded that he wanted to be traded.
New York will always have a special place in my heart.
Grateful for everybody who made this journey so special for my family and I. pic.twitter.com/q923ul3Wk4
— Kristaps Porzingis (@kporzee) February 1, 2019
The Knicks knocked on New Orleans’ door asking about Anthony Davis, but the Pelicans were not interested in Porzingis. New Orleans was skeptical about Porzingis’ willingness to remain in the team beyond his current contract according to ESPN.
The Mavericks are hoping to re-sign Porzingis to a long term contract.