Saturday is the second to last day of the NBA regular season, so as you would expect there's no shortage of storylines. All 30 teams are set to play on Sunday, so there were only six total games scheduled on Saturday, but there was still ample action. With that said, here's everything you need to know from the day that was in the NBA.
1. LeBron James returns, leads Lakers to victory over Pacers
After missing the past six games to rest his ankle, LeBron James returned to game action for the Lakers against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday afternoon, and it didn't take long for James to look like his old self. Less than halfway through the first quarter, James caught a lob from Dennis Schroder and threw it down with authority.
James' ankle certainly looked OK on that play, which is obviously good news for Lakers fans. James wasn't done there either, as he scored seven straight points in the fourth quarter to close out the game for L.A.
In all, James played 28 minutes and tallied 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Not a bad return to action. With the win, the Lakers moved to 41-30 on the season with one game remaining. They're now tied with the Portland Trail Blazers, who sit in the sixth seed and hold the tiebreaker over the Lakers. So, in order to move up to the sixth seed from the seventh seed -- and in turn avoid the play-in tournament -- the Lakers will need to beat the Pelicans on Sunday, and they'll also need the Blazers to lose to the Nuggets. If both of those things don't happen, the Lakers will remain in the seventh spot and be forced to play in the play-in tournament.
Brooklyn's star trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving played together in a game for just the eighth time this season against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, and the results were as expected. With their full complement of superstars, the Nets rolled to a 105-91 victory and, in turn, moved closer to securing the second seed in the East. Irving led the way for the Nets with 22 points, while Durant tallied 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Harden had five points, five rebounds and seven assists. The numbers are modest, but the most important takeaway for the Nets is that all of their key contributors are healthy for the start of postseason play. On paper, the Nets are arguably the most talented team in the league, and as long as they're healthy, they'll have a real shot to win a title this season.
3. Julius Randle's triple-double leads Knicks to win over Hornets
It took an extra five minutes, but the New York Knicks continued their winning ways against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday afternoon, thanks largely to the productive play of All-Star forward Julius Randle. Randle had 33 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds and in the process, he became the first Knicks player to record a 30-point triple-double since Carmelo Anthony did so in 2012.
With the win, the Knicks kept the possibility of securing the fourth seed in the East -- and homecourt advantage in the first round -- alive. They're currently tied record-wise with the Hawks, and a half-game ahead of the Heat. Those teams will finish fourth, fifth and sixth in the East, in some order, and the final standings will be determined after Sunday's slate is completed.