Portland Trail Blazers spoil LeBron James' debut for the Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron 16 King

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James finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in his first competitive match in the purple-and-gold.

"I always compare it to instant oatmeal, it's not that fast, it takes a while for the chemistry to get to where you could close your eyes and know exactly where your guys are".

Despite James himself saying the Lakers are a long way from challenging the Golden State Warriors, fellow analyst Kenny Smith said the Lakers are in "win now" mode.

James, who in July signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers, joins a roster that includes promising but untested players like 20-year-old Lonzo Ball, 21-year-old Brandon Ingram and 23-year-olds Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart. He added a follow-up 19 seconds later with a one-handed effort.

James threw down a thunderous dunk Thursday night for his first points with his new franchise.

But despite all the early promise, Portland still managed to ruin the party.

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Damian Lillard scored 28 points for Portland and Nik Stauskas matched his career high with 24, on his debut.

With the Lakers remaining patient in their approach to bringing Ball back to full speed, Rondo was expected to be the starter even dating back to training camp.

James has now lost all four National Basketball Association debuts during his career - including his dramatic return to Cleveland in 2014 - but believes his new team just needs time. "Those are things that as we all continue to work with one another, we will get better".

"Glad he's on our team", Luke Walton said.

He will have the chance to make amends on Saturday, with the Lakers hosting the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center.

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