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It's safe to say that the Los Angeles Lakers weren't the same team without LeBron James in the lineup.

Even without James and Rajon Rondo, they managed to stick around and make the game interesting, however, they ultimately lost the Clips 118-107.

LeBron James on Thursday made a triumphant return to the court, breathing new life into the floundering Los Angeles Lakers with a 123-120 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

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

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.

The Lakers have played 17 games since Christmas and have gone 6-11 during that span.

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In the end, the game remained level, but the incident has not gone unnoticed by other Premier League teams. We are still in the race and if we dropped points or whatever, then it's still a point against Leicester.

In order to do that, though, they're going to have to show some fight against a Clippers team that has been tough to get by this season. "We'll see [if he will play] by game time".

Asked after the game about his current condition, James described himself as at 80 percent but confirmed there were no further issues with his groin, apart from expected soreness.

Thursday will mark the end of the longest absence of his 16-year career. I'm looking forward to seeing how I feel tomorrow.

"I just tried to stay as positive as possible", the three-time National Basketball Association champion said. "That's the tell-tale sign for me is how my body feels after having to play 40 minutes".

"I've never been injured before like that", James was quoted as saying by NBC Los Angeles after the game. He was originally listed as out but was upgraded to doubtful earlier in the day.