LeBron James watched Lonzo Ball play in Las Vegas during the 2017 NBA Summer League, taking in a Los Angeles Lakers’ game from a baseline seat as a spectator.
He had a better view Wednesday.
James and Ball were on-court teammates for the first time when the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors 123-113, back in Las Vegas. Ball didn’t start the preseason contest, but replaced Rajon Rondo just 2 minutes, 13 seconds into the game.
“It’s just fun to have our full group,” James said.
James and Ball didn’t play very much. Ball has been recovering from a knee issue, and it was his first appearance this preseason.
James didn’t want to burden his new point guard with a lot of expectations, so he was keeping his approach very simple.
“He plays basketball,” James said of Ball before the game. “He knows how to play basketball.”
It was James’ first game against the Warriors since last season’s NBA Finals — when his second stint as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers ended with Golden State sweeping its way to a second consecutive championship. But he downplayed the exhibition being any extension of his rivalry with the Warriors, or the rivalry between the California clubs.
“Preseason game,” James said.
WIZARDS 102, PISTONS 97
John Wall scored 32 points, including a layup with 1:26 left that put Washington ahead for good.
Wall finished with nine assists and Bradley Beal scored 17 points for the Wizards. Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 17 points and 20 rebounds, and Blake Griffin added 16 points for Detroit.
WIZARDS: Markieff Morris scored 15 points and Jason Smith added 14. … Washington once led by as many as 14 before needing big plays from Wall late to pull out the win.
PISTONS: Detroit took 45 shots from 3-point range, 42 from 2-point range. … Reggie Bullock was 4 for 8 from beyond the arc.
UP NEXT: Washington (3-1) hosts the Guangzhou Long-Lions on Friday. Detroit (1-3) faces Cleveland in East Lansing, Michigan, on Friday.
MAGIC 102, GRIZZLIES 86
Jonathan Issac and Aaron Gordon each scored 15 points for Orlando.
Nikola Vucevic grabbed 11 rebounds and Melvin Frazier Jr. scored 10 points for the Magic. Mike Conley scored a game-high 24 points for the Grizzlies, shooting 9 for 14.
GRIZZLIES: Memphis was outrebounded 54-38, and 12-1 on the offensive glass. … Marc Gasol and Jaren Jackson each scored 10.
MAGIC: Orlando took control with a 12-1 run in the second quarter. … Rookie Mo Bamba didn’t play because of a bruised wrist.
UP NEXT: Memphis (2-2) hosts Houston on Friday. Orlando (2-2) hosts San Antonio on Friday.
HEAT 140, PELICANS 128
Bam Adebayo scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Josh Richardson scored 25 for Miami — which set a franchise record for preseason points in a game.
Derrick Jones Jr., back from a sore shoulder, scored 18 for Miami. Julius Randle led New Orleans with 23 points.
PELICANS: Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday rested. … Nikola Mirotic scored 19, while Elfrid Payton and Darius Miller each scored 17. … New Orleans’ 24 turnovers turned into 39 Miami points. … The Pelicans shot 56 percent and never led.
HEAT: Dwyane Wade, Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder and Justise Winslow all got the night off. … Kelly Olynyk was 2 for 8 in 13 minutes, all of his shots coming from 3-point range.
UP NEXT: New Orleans (0-4) hosts Toronto on Thursday. Miami (2-3) hosts Atlanta on Friday.
HAWKS 130, SPURS 127
Rookie guard Trae Young connected on a 3-pointer — from the Georgia Tech logo near midcourt — with 2.2 seconds left to send Atlanta to the win.
Taurean Prince had 25 points for the Hawks, and Young finished with 22. Rudy Gay led all scorers with 28 for San Antonio, on a 10-for-15 shooting night.
SPURS: The Spurs shot 55 percent — and allowed Atlanta to shoot 58 percent. … Bryn Forbes scored 22 points. DeMar DeRozan and Derrick White each had 15. … White started at point guard in place of Dejounte Murray, who tore his ACL earlier this week and will miss the season.
HAWKS: Alex Len finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. … Kent Bazemore scored 15 points.
UP NEXT: San Antonio (2-2) visits Orlando on Friday. Atlanta (2-2) visits Miami on Friday.
RAPTORS 118, NETS 91
In Montreal, Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry got ejected in the third quarter for getting two technicals.
Danny Green scored 22 points and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for Toronto. Jarrett Allen led the Nets with 24 points.
NETS: D’Angelo Russell scored 18 points and Caris LeVert finished with 13. … The Nets were outscored 35-11 in the third quarter.
RAPTORS: Toronto was 16 for 36 from 3-point range, with Green going 6 for 7 from deep. … Fred VanVleet and Jonas Valanciunas each had 11 points.
UP NEXT: Brooklyn (1-2) visits New York on Friday. Toronto (3-1) visits New Orleans on Thursday.
BULLS 104, PACERS 89
Justin Holiday and Zach LaVine scored 22 points apiece to lead Chicago.
Thaddeus Young, who missed Indiana’s first three preseason games due to a foot injury, made 8 of 12 from the field and finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes.
BULLS: Bobby Portis made his first start of the preseason, scoring 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. … Jabari Parker, who signed a two-year, $40 million deal with Chicago in July, had 11 points in 26 minutes off the bench. … The Bulls hit 13 of 30 (43.3 percent) from 3-point range.
PACERS: Rookie Aaron Holiday hit three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points. … Domantas Sabonis had 13 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes and Victor Oladipo scored 12 points with seven turnovers.
UP NEXT: Chicago (2-2) hosts Denver on Friday. Indiana’s preseason ended at 2-2, and the Pacers open the regular season at home against Memphis on Oct. 17.
TRAIL BLAZERS 116, SUNS 83
Jake Layman scored 28 points for Portland on 10-of-14 shooting, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
Josh Jackson led Phoenix with 13 points and Richaun Holmes added 12.
TRAILBLAZERS: Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum (coach’s decision) did not play. … Evan Turner (shoulder), Gary Trent Jr. (quadriceps) and Moe Harkless (ankle) — a last-second scratch — missed the game due to injury. … Nik Stauskas had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists and rookie Gary Payton II scored eight points in eight minutes.
SUNS: Devin Booker, who underwent hand surgery on Sept. 10 and was expected to miss six weeks, said he’d like to play against the Mavericks in the regular-season opener next week. … No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton had nine points and four rebounds in 15 minutes. … Phoenix (2-3) made just 8 of 31 (25.8 percent) from 3-point range.
UP NEXT: Portland (2-2) closes out its preseason schedule at home against Sacramento on Friday. Phoenix opens the regular season on Oct. 17 when it plays host to Dallas.
LAKERS 123, WARRIORS 113
Brandon Ingram scored 26 points for the Lakers, and James had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 18 minutes — all in the first half.
Stephen Curry had 23 points and Klay Thompson scored 20, including four 3-pointers, for Golden State (1-3).
WARRIORS: Draymond Green (knee) did not play. … Kevin Durant had 18 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out in 24 minutes. … Golden State made just 20 of 36 free throws and committed 25 turnovers.
LAKERS: Ball had seven points and four steals. … Kyle Kuzma scored 22 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 20. … Los Angeles made 38 of 46 (82.6 percent) from the free-throw line.
UP NEXT: The Lakers (2-3) and Golden State play again Friday, at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, in the preseason finale for both teams.
Photo Credit: ClutchPoints