Lebron James flexed his muscles and dazzled once more in an LA Lakers shirt as the clock ticks down towards the new NBA season.
The American superstar contributed 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to help the Lakers to a 123-113 win in Las Vegas in their penultimate match before the start of the 2018-19 campaign.
And Wednesday night’s match saw him line up alongside new team-mate Lonzo Ball, last year’s No 2 overall pick, for the first time.
James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for a four-year, $153.3million free-agent deal with the Lakers this summer and has grabbed headlines throughout pre-season.
For the Warriors, Steph Curry scored 23 points, and Klay Thompson added 20 points. Kevin Durant had 18 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with 5 minutes, 7 seconds left in the third quarter.
Last year James watched Ball from courtside as he played in the 2017 NBA Summer League, but this time he had a better view.
Ball didn’t start on Wednesday as he continues his recovery from surgery on a torn left meniscus in July, but came on for Rajon Rondo after just two minutes.
James said afterwards: ‘It’s just fun to have our full group,’
‘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.