LeBron available for Lakers after 5-game absence

  • Lakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
  • Covered the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.

SAN ANTONIO — Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is available to play Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs following a five-game absence because of a left groin strain, the team announced.

Los Angeles went 3-2 without him, with Anthony Davis taking his game to another level with James out. Davis averaged 33.2 points and 17.4 rebounds in those five games.

The Lakers will also have Juan Toscano-Anderson, who had been out with back tightness, and rookie Max Christie, who was in the health and safety protocols, available.

Friday’s game will mark the first of Patrick Beverley’s three-game suspension for shoving Suns center Deandre Ayton to the floor in Los Angeles’ 115-105 loss to the Suns.

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