LeBron James Drops 12 as Lakers Fall to Luka Doncic, Mavericks in Scrimmage

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2020

FILE - In this March 10, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets in Los Angeles. If James gets his way, NBA arenas and other sports venues around the country will be mega polling sites for the November general election. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis returned to action Thursday as the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Dallas Mavericks in a scrimmage. The Mavs won the shortened matchup 108-104 with the game featuring 10-minute quarters instead of the standard 12 minutes. 

For all of the superstar power in the contest, it was actually Seth Curry who led all scorers with 23 points in a matchup that very well could repeat come the postseason. 

Heading into the NBA's restart, the Lakers sit atop the Western Conference at 49-14, while the Mavericks are currently the No. 7 seed at 40-27. It's extremely unlikely the Mavs will drop down to the No. 8 seed—they have a seven-game lead on the Memphis Grizzlies—but they are just 1.5 games back of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 5 seed. 

Catch them, and the Lakers and Mavs could find themselves in a potential second-round showdown. That's down the road, however—let's break down the key stats and the storylines from Thursday's scrimmage. 

                

Key Stats

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LeBron James, LAL: 12 points (4-of-6 from the field), five assists and three rebounds

Luka Doncic, DAL: 14 points (5-of-8 from the field), six assists, five rebounds

Anthony Davis, LAL: 12 points (5-of-7 from the field)

Kristaps Porzingis, DAL: Eight points

JaVale McGee, LAL: 13 points

Seth Curry, DAL: 23 points (8-of-8 from the field, 6-of-6 from three)

Dion Waiters, LAL: Nine points

Boban Marjanovic: 17 points, 12 rebounds

                               

James and Davis Looked Sharp for the Lakers

It's a good sign for the Lakers that their two best players combined for 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field while playing just a little over 15 minutes. With such an unusual format to the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a four-month layoff, it wouldn't have been surprising to see either player look a bit rusty. 

But that simply wasn't the case Thursday. 

James looked in midseason form, sprinting down the floor for highlight-worthy finishes and assists:

Davis, meanwhile, had his array of post moves and fakes on full display in an efficient showing:

Both players sat out the entire second half in the scrimmage. They did more than enough to show they were ready for the start of the season during their limited run, however. 

                

Doncic Had it Going On Too

The Mavericks star got a slightly longer run than James and Davis, playing just under 17 minutes, and he showed off his full arsenal in that time. 

The patented stepback jumper? 

Check.

The drive to the rim and finish?

Check. 

The soft passing touch? 

Check. 

Porzingis was efficient in his short run as well, while Curry literally didn't miss. But as usual, all eyes were on Doncic anytime the Mavs had possession, and he didn't disappoint in his first action in months. 

                   

What's Next?

The Lakers take on the Orlando Magic in their next scrimmage Saturday at noon ET, while Dallas faces the Indiana Pacers on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.