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 in the starting lineup of a game together for the first time, set to team up when the Lakers and the Golden State Warriors squared off in Las Vegas to highlight Wednesday’s preseason slate.
“It’s just fun to have our full group,” James said.
The plan was for neither to play that much, especially since Ball had not yet appeared in this preseason. And James didn’t 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. “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.
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 3-point land.
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 for Memphis.
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 both rested. … Nikola Mirotic scored 19, while Elfrid Payton and Darius Miller each scored 17 for New Orleans, which saw its 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. If this were the regular season Olynyk would have become the eighth center in NBA history to take that many 3s in a game without attempting a shot from 2-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 lift Atlanta to a win.
Young finished with 22 points for Atlanta, which was led by a 25-point effort from Taurean Prince. 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 for San Antonio, which got 15 apiece from Derrick White and DeMar DeRozan. 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 finished with 15 for Atlanta.
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 for the Nets, who 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 for the Raptors.
UP NEXT: Brooklyn (1-2) visits New York on Friday. Toronto (3-1) visits New Orleans on Thursday.
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