(NBA pre-season) LeBron James, Lonzo Ball have fun

Sports | 11 Oct 2018 12:54 pm

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 was getting a better view Wednesday.

James and Ball were on-court teammates for the first time when the Lakers and the Golden State Warriors squared off in Las Vegas to highlight Wednesday's preseason slate. Ball did not start, but checked into the game in place of Rajon Rondo just 2 minutes, 13 seconds into the game.

"It's just fun to have our full group,'' James said.

The plan was for neither James nor Ball to play that much, especially since Ball _ who has been recovering from a knee issue _ had not yet appeared in this preseason. And James did not want to burden his new point guard with a lot of expectations, so he was keeping his approach for Wednesday very simple.

"He plays basketball,'' James said of Ball before the game. "He knows how to play basketball.''

It was the first time James was facing 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 this being any extension of his rivalry with the Warriors, or the rivalry between California clubs. "Preseason game,'' James said.

In other games:

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.

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.-AP

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