James, Davis back on court for Lakers as season draws near

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Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. (22) passes in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6) and guard Theo Maledon (11) in the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

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.

Elsewhere on Wednesday night, the New York Knicks rallied from a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-93. Julius Randle scored 18 points for the Knicks and RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox II had 16 apiece.

“Once we got some energy from getting stops, I thought that gave us a lot more energy on offense," Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Also on Wednesday, Chicago beat Oklahoma City 124-103, and Denver beat Portland 126-95.