Lakers star (groin) will be back Thursday vs. Clippers

LeBron James

LeBron James

James was considered "doubtful" to play against the Clippers Thursday morning, but had ramped up his return over the Lakers' last two practices.

Showing no sign of the injury that resulted in the longest absence of his 16-year career, James played 40 minutes and scored the go-ahead basket in overtime after the Lakers blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.

"The first quarter was just kind of a feel out quarter to see how my groin would react", LeBron James said of his return to the court after a 17-game absence due to a strained groin, a stretch where the Lakers went 6-11 and fell out of playoff position. Lance Stephenson drove for a flailing layup, hitting Boban Marjanovic in the nose with his left elbow while getting fouled. Prior to falling to one game over.500 on January 24 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Nov. 11 was the last time the Lakers were that close to even on their record. Injuries have derailed the team in recent weeks, as James has been joined by Rajon Rondo, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball at different times in the sidelines.

Williams couldn't get a potential tying three-pointer off in the right corner before the final buzzer sounded.

In San Antonio, Texas, Derrick White scored a career-high 26 points as the Spurs continued their dominance at home over the Brooklyn Nets with a 117-114 win. They enjoyed strong support from the Staples Center crowd as the visiting team.

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The Clippers got 24 points from Lou Williams off the bench, and beyond that we saw their usual balanced attack - six other players were in double figures. Patrick Beverley added 17.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been without star LeBron James for the past 18 games as he recuperates from a groin strain. The Clippers tied the score 112-112 on a 3-pointer by Harris with 35 seconds left, and neither team would score again in regulation. They outscored the Clippers 33-22 in the period.

When the Lakers are healthy, they're definitely capable of stellar performances.

Lakers: At Golden State on Saturday in the second game of their six-stop Grammy road trip.

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