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LeBron James Back in Lakers Lineup vs. Pacers After Ankle Injury

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 5/15/2021 Wilton Jackson
LeBron James holding a basketball © Provided by Sports Illustrated

James has missed the Lakers last six games with a high-ankle sprain.

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Lakes forward LeBron James will return to the lineup on Saturday against the Pacers.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel said that James will not have a minutes restriction but that the team will be responsible. The four-time NBA champ has missed the Lakers' last six games with a high-ankle sprain injury and has played just two games since March 21.

Vogel said he has not decided if James will play in the Lakers' season finale against the Pelicans on Sunday. James has not played since May 3, when he exited Los Angeles's 121–114 loss to the Raptors midway through the fourth quarter with soreness in his right ankle. He initially sprained his ankle against the Hawks on March 20.

James is averaging 25 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game this season. He is on track to play in the fewest games in a regular season of his NBA career. The team is 12-15 without James this season. 

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In addition to James's returning, Anthony Davis will play after missing the Lakers' last game against the Rockets with a sore abductor. Vogel told reporters that Davis was held out against Houston mainly due to the fact Los Angeles was on its second night of a back-to-back. 

Lakers guard Dennis Schröder will also play Saturday after missing seven games due to health and safety protocols. The reigning NBA champs are 5–5 in their last 10 games and are riding a three-game winning streak heading into Saturday's game against Indiana. 

Los Angeles (40–30) currently sit in the No. 7 spot in Western Conference. The Lakers are trying to avoid having to play in this year's play-in tournament.

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Ahead of today's matchup, the Lakers would be in a potential play-in game with the Warriors. Los Angeles can move out of the No. 7 spot and earn the No. 6 spot if it wins its final two games and the Trail Blazers lose one, setting up a matchup with the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. 

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