LeBron James was 34 feet away from the basket, 0.2 seconds left on the clock, it didn’t matter. This was Las Vegas, and this was the King’s show. The shot was good, the crowd went wild, and James soaked it in.
The Los Angeles Lakers led the Golden State Warriors 61-57 at halftime. James’ work was done after 18 minutes. He finished with 15 points (5-for-8 shooting), 10 rebounds and five assists. The Lakers went on to defeat the Warriors, 123-113.
It’s been 124 days since LeBron James faced the two-time defending champions. But that was the NBA Finals, and this is the preseason.
With Cirque du Soleil may be down the strip, the crowd in T-Mobile Center was treated to their very own high-flying performance. Klay Thompson three. JaVale McGee for the slam. Stephen Curry step-back jumper.
All in 20 seconds.
With both teams stampeding up and down the court, the Warriors led the Lakers 34-31 at the end of the first quarter.
Lonzo Ball checked in for his first game action since March with 9:47 remaining in the opening quarter. Basketball fans have been left yearning to see what the Ball-James pairing will look like.
They got a glimpse in the second quarter when James lobbed to Ball for an alley-oop slam dunk and Ball’s first bucket of the season. Ball continued to find his rhythm in the second half. He finished with seven points, four rebounds and two assists in 23 minutes.
The contest lacked the makings of a typical exhibition game. Kevin Durant fouled out with five minutes remaining in the third, capping off an 18-point, 12-rebound performance.
Brandon Ingram once again led the Lakers, finishing with 26 points. A majority of those came at the free throw line, where he was 15-of-17.
Fans won’t have to wait long for another fast-paced, California showdown. The teams meet for the final game of the preseason on Friday in Oracle Arena.
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