LeBron James played for the first time in 2.5 weeks due to an abdominal strain, but the Los Angeles Lakers lost 130-108 to the Boston Celtics.
The Lakers are now 8-9 on the season.
"It's never, 'We got 65 games left,'" James said when asked if he can take the long view considering the Lakers' early injuries and how much of the 82-game regular-season slate remains. "We damn sure need to play better, no matter who is in the lineup. We have our system and we need to obviously fast-track it and get better with it so we can play, no matter who is out on the floor, we can play at a high level. ... There's no level of panic. But there should be some sense of urgency anytime we take the floor."
James has dealt with his third significant injury in the past four seasons.
"Physically I felt OK and good enough to know that I can trust my body and get out and play tonight," James said. "So, I'm more looking forward to seeing how I'm feeling tomorrow when I wake up. That is the telltale sign if I'm moving in the right direction with my injury."