The Sports Report: LeBron James out of COVID-19 protocols, will play tonight

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Dan Woike on the Lakers: It’s the kind of news that might’ve even made a young Russell Westbrook pull his head out of his text book after learning on the eve of a big game in Los Angeles that the most famous player will be reinserted into the mix.

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LeBron James’ quick return to the Lakers lineup from the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols after a false-positive test is the type of big deal that elevates an already big game — even if it wasn’t always that way for one of the local stars playing in it.

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Growing up in Los Angeles, Westbrook didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the simmering NBA rivalry in his city. It wasn’t just because the Lakers were the city’s established champion and the Clippers were mostly a punching bag.

James will be back in the lineup after multiple rounds of negative tests have him cleared and ready to play after missing the team’s win Tuesday in Sacramento.

He’ll be on the court with a Lakers team that’s hopeful its on an upward trajectory after winning consecutive games with a lineup that’s getting healthier after a ragged start. Guard Avery Bradley will avoid thumb…

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