Boston Celtics spoil LeBron James return with dominant victory over Los Angeles Lakers


LeBron James makes his comeback after missing eight games through injury but he can’t prevent the LA Lakers from suffering their third defeat on the bounce

  • LeBron James had missed eight games due to an abdominal strain injury 
  • The Los Angeles Lakers had lost five of their eight matches without their star 
  • On his return against the Boston Celtics he scored 23 points in the contest
  • Jayson Tatum though inspired the Celtics to a dominant win with 37 points 


LeBron James scored 23 points but had his return to action spoiled as the Boston Celtics secured a 130-108 blowout victory.

The 36-year-old had missed eight games due to an abdominal strain and his presence was a welcome return for the Lakers who had lost five games without their star player. 

His return was announced shortly before the game, with the decision made after James finished a shooting session an hour before tip-off.

LeBron James made his return to the court after missing eight games due to injury

His return was spoiled though as Jayson Tatum inspired Boston Celtics to a home victory

His return was spoiled though as Jayson Tatum inspired Boston Celtics to a home victory

The Lakers confirmed his return by tweeting that ‘The King has arrived and will play’.

‘I felt okay,’ James said after the match. ‘Obviously being out two and a half weeks I felt kind of like a rookie again, just being away from the game. Excited. Felt good enough that I could trust my body.’

Following the defeat the Lakers now hold an 8-9 record and are ninth in the Western Conference.

'King James' scored 23 points on his return to the Lakers who lost five of eight games without him

‘King James’ scored 23 points on his return to the Lakers who lost five of eight games without him

The Lakers defeat though means they now have an 8-9 record and are ninth in their conference

The Lakers defeat though means they now have an 8-9 record and are ninth in their conference

James said: ‘It’s never 65 games left (in the season). We need to play better.’

The Lakers will hope James can help turn their season around after a slow start to the season in which they are 6.5 games behind conference leaders the Golden State Warriors.

Boston Celtics have also had a slow start to the season, but All Star Jayson Tatum inspired them to victory on Friday night.  

Tatum scored 37 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Marcus Smart got 22 points and Dennis Schroder added 21 as the Celtics climbed back to a .500 record for the season so far.

Anthony Davis led Los Angeles with 31 points and James finished with 23 in 32 minutes. They each had six rebounds and two assists.

The teams who have accounted for nearly half of the NBA’s championships with 17 apiece renewed their rivalry in front of a raucous TD Garden crowd that made it seem like a play-off atmosphere from the opening tip.

Tatum scored an impressive 37 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to inspire the Celtics to victory

Tatum scored an impressive 37 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to inspire the Celtics to victory

Hall of Famer Bill Russell – introduced as a “true Celtics legend” when he was welcomed back by the PA announcer and shown on the Jumbotron midway into the opening quarter – was seated courtside wearing a hat with the initials “KB” encircled in a yellow heart on the front for the late Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

The Celtics led by 11 points entering the final quarter and opened a 109-94 lead on Tatum’s three-point play with 6:59 remaining. His 3-pointer from the left corner increased it to 116-99 with 5:02 to go.

The Lakers made nine of their initial 12 shots en route to a 38-30 lead after one quarter.

The Lakers will hope James can turn their season around after a slow start to the campaign

The Lakers will hope James can turn their season around after a slow start to the campaign

James’ first basket came on a thundering dunk off a drive down the lane 2 { minutes into the game.

Boston erased a 14-point deficit in the second quarter and took the lead before James’ fast-break layup gave the Lakers a 61-60 halftime edge.

The Celtics opened the second half with a 14-4 surge and led 93-82 entering the fourth.

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