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LeBron James helps Lakers win in Portland despite groin issue

PORTLAND -- LeBron James overcame a groin contusion to record 21 points and 16 assists Saturday to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 128-120,

James, who aggravated the issue in the Lakers' Christmas Day loss to the LA Clippers, was listed as questionable coming into the game.

The 17-year veteran reported feeling improvement with the injury at the team's shootaround Saturday morning.

"It's a pretty good couple days after the Christmas Day game," James said.

L.A. plays the second leg of a back-to-back Sunday at home against the Dallas Mavericks. Lakers coach Frank Vogel said James' availability Saturday would be an independent decision from Sunday's game.

"When you have a back-to-back, you just treat it like this is the only game you're playing and then figure out tomorrow tomorrow," Vogel said.

L.A. came into the game riding a season-long four-game losing streak. Anthony Davis all but guaranteed that would end at Saturday's shootaround.

"You want that competitive spirit back, and I think we've found that," Davis said. "So I'm pretty sure we'll come out victorious in this game because of the way film session went yesterday and practice. It was a good one."

Vogel was asked to detail the film session during his pregame remarks Saturday.

"I started the film session telling them I'm angry and edgy, so just forgive me, but that's just how I am," he said. "That's how I was feeling yesterday. I think that's how everyone is feeling, following up with our guys. That was just sort of the pulse of the group. We're not happy losing that Christmas Day game, and we're certainly not happy losing four in a row.

"We've got a lot of habits to kind of tighten the screw on all at once. And just because we're a little edgy and angry doesn't necessarily mean it's going to translate to a win. We've got to go out and perform and execute and make shots. Hopefully we do that."