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NBA: LeBron James returns, scores 16 in Lakers’ loss

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Lakers star LeBron James returned to action Friday night and scored 16 points as Los Angeles lost 110-106 to the visiting Sacramento Kings.

James, 36, had been sidelined since March 20 due to a high right ankle sprain. He came back to contribute 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 32 minutes.

Before the game, Los Angeles coach Frank Vogel said James would not be under any hard minutes restriction.

The 20 games James missed represented the longest injury absence of his 18-season NBA career.

“I would expect some rust, but that is the theme of this season with some guys having to return and work their way into shape during games,” Vogel said before the contest.

The Lakers (36-27) were just 8-12 since the four-time league MVP injured his ankle, and they have now lost five of their past six games. Los Angeles has slipped to fifth place in the Western Conference.

James is averaging 25.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.9 assists in 42 games this season.

–Field Level Media

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