The Lakers and Warriors played the highest profile preseason game of the year in Las Vegas on Wednesday night, and while Draymond Green was held out, the rest of the two teams’ star-studded casts were on display in the first half for what felt much more like a regular season game than a preseason matchup.
Steph Curry and Kevin Durant lit up the Lakers early as each had 18 first-half points for the Warriors, with Durant grabbing 11 boards in the first two quarters for the rare first half double-double. However, that wasn’t enough to give Golden State the lead at the half as the Lakers took a 61-57 advantage into the break.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led L.A. with 17 points, while Kyle Kuzma, Lance Stephenson, and Brandon Ingram all added at least eight as well. Even with those solid halves, LeBron James was still the star for L.A., unsurprisingly, as he had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists going into the break, which he capped off with a halftime buzzer-beater from just inside halfcourt.
Unlike most halfcourt attempts, it wasn’t a heave, but rather a spot-up jumper, as James took his time getting himself set as the defense expected him to try and dribble in for a closer shot. Instead, James hoisted the long three and buried it, giving him the second buzzer-beating bomb of the night after Trae Young got the Hawks a win with a 30-footer of his own.
James also seemed to be enjoying the company of his new teammates on the floor, as Rajon Rondo already appears to have figured out LeBron’s preferred way to start the game off the tip.
James also found Lonzo Ball on an alley-oop in Ball’s first game action with LeBron on a gorgeous lob pass.