LeBron James and Anthony Davis returned to the court for the Los Angeles Lakers, less than a week before the start of the regular season — and just over two months after winning the NBA title.
This short offseason could be particularly tough on the Lakers after their run to the championship, but James and Davis played for the first time this preseason Wednesday night in Los Angeles’ 112-107 victory at Phoenix. Davis sank a turnaround to start the game and had 10 points in 17 1/2 minutes. James scored 11 points in 15 minutes.
“I felt great, honestly,” Davis said. “Coming in, I thought I was going to be a little winded. You can try to get in shape all you want, but it’s nothing like getting in basketball shape.”
The Lakers, who beat Miami to win the championship Oct. 11, start the new season against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
In addition to James and Davis, Kyle Kuzma was in the starting lineup for the Lakers on Wednesday, along with new acquisitions Dennis Schroder and Marc Gasol.
Kuzma scored 23 points to lead the Lakers, who outscored Phoenix 43-24 in the fourth quarter. Both teams led by as many as 14 points.
Montrezl Harrell’s hook shot capped an 18-4 run that put Los Angeles up 91-90, and it was fairly tight the rest of the way.
Deandre Ayton scored 21 points for Phoenix and Devin Booker added 16.
Talen Horton-Tucker scored 18 for the Lakers.
There are seven games scheduled for Thursday, eight games Friday, and then the preseason wraps up with three games Saturday.