FIRST TIME

LeBron James and Lonzo Ball take the floor to­gether as on-court team­mates in Lak­ers' NBA pre­sea­son game against the War­riors

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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 didn't 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 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 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. / AP

AP Photo/John Locher

FOUL. Los An­ge­les Lak­ers for­ward LeBron James, left, is fouled by Golden State War­riors guard An­dre Iguo­dala dur­ing the first half of an NBA pre­sea­son bas­ket­ball game Wed­nes­day, Oct. 10, 2018, in Las Ve­gas.

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