Rested LeBron James, Lakers start second half vs. Pacers

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·3 min read
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Even though he participated in the All-Star Game last week, Los Angeles Lakers swingman LeBron James managed to get a few days rest before his team begins the second half of the season with a Friday contest against the Indiana Pacers at the Staples Center.

But will it be enough?

"I'll take any time, obviously," James said after the All-Star Game. "I'll take full advantage of the time we have. Is it enough time? No, it's never enough time. But we're not on the side of time, and I'm not on the side of time. But I'll take full advantage of what I have and be okay with it."

Now in his 18th NBA season, the 36-year-old James missed just one game the first half of the year for a mild left ankle sprain he's been dealing with since December.

James is carrying the load for Los Angeles and playing at a high level on both ends of the floor. He leads the Lakers in points (25.8 per game) and assists (7.8) and is second on the team in rebounds (8.0).

The time away from the floor was needed for the Lakers, as they lost two straight heading into the break and are 3-7 over the team's last 10 games.

At 24-13 and No. 3 in the Western Conference, the Lakers hope to receive some good news with the eventual return of big man Anthony Davis sometime this month from a right calf strain that forced him to miss the last nine games.

The Lakers have posted a 7-7 record with Davis out of the lineup for various nagging injuries so far this season. Los Angeles begins the second half of the season with eight of their next 11 games at home.

At 16-19, the Pacers start the second half of the season with six of their next seven games on the road. Indiana is 9-8 on the road this year.

Guard Malcolm Brogdon leads the Pacers in scoring, averaging 21.2 points per contest. All-Star Domantas Sabonis is having perhaps his best season as a pro, averaging 20.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and 6.0 assists a contest.

Sabonis, who appeared in his second All-Star Game and won the skills competition during All-Star weekend, was pleased to get a few days off in preparation for the second half of the season.

"We have a tough stretch coming up as we start March," Sabonis said. "We're all going to have to have everyone ready. Hopefully, we get some players back and that will give us some extra firepower."

Guard T.J. McConnell has been a spark plug for the Pacers. McConnell averaged 9.4 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds a contest over the last 15 games, including a triple-double (16 points, 13 assists, 10 steals) in Indiana's 114-111 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 3.

"I'm just trying to do anything that I can to help my team win," McConnell said after his triple-double performance. "That was really my mindset."

However, the Pacers have lost 10 of their last 15 games.

--Field Level Media