NBA

Lakers returns for Lakers, Jokic ruled out with wrist issue

By Sports Desk November 19, 2021

LeBron James returned after a fortnight out with an abdominal strain as the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Boston Celtics on Friday.

James, 36, had not played for the Lakers since their 119-117 win over the Houston Rockets on November 1.

The four-time NBA MVP and NBA champion was averaging 24.8, 5.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists across six games this season.

James only played 45 games across the 2020-21 season as the Lakers' title defence ended in the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Phoenix Suns.

Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic was ruled out of the Denver Nuggets' side for their game against the Chicago Bulls on Friday with a wrist sprain.

The Serbian center appeared to hurt his wrist in Thursday's 103-89 shock loss to the depleted Philadelphia 76ers.

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    Billy Donovan says the Chicago Bulls' "margin for error is not great" after losing for a fourth straight game in the absence of several key players.

    Without the likes of Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine and Alex Caruso, the Bulls were beaten 119-106 by the in-form Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

    Despite losing to the Grizzlies, the Boston Celtics, the Golden State Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets in successive games, Chicago are top of the Eastern Conference.

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    And after committing 18 turnovers in an error-strewn performance against the Grizzlies, Donovan accepts an improvement is required.

    "For us right now, our margin for error is not great," he said. "Turnovers here, offensive rebound, a couple easy transition points – we're going to have to eliminate those things.

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    DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 24 points on 10 of 24 shooting, on top of his five assists, while Coby White finished with 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

    While the shorthanded Bulls are going through a rough patch, White believes there could be long-term gains for his side.

    "I feel like this is a chance for us to grow," he said. "We're getting the opportunity now.

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    "I thought our guys came out ready," Memphis interim coach Darko Rajakovic said. 

    "I thought we did a really good job defensively. To be honest with you, I thought we were supposed to score even more. 

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