LOS ANGELES - The Cavaliers are again in a rut.
Seven Raptors players hit more than 10 points, with Kyle Lowry finishing on 16, four rebounds and seven assists.
Thomas, who shared hugs with several of his former Cavs teammates like J.R. Smith at halfcourt before the game, got a little revenge against the team that traded him away after he only played 15 games for the Cavs following hip surgery.
James wowed the crowd with some flashy passing and scoring drives in the paint before finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 31 minutes. Buddy Hield scored 18 points, while former Nuggets player Kosta Koufos chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings. If this was his last game of his career against the Lakers, it was a forgettable one.
The Lakers' entire season has been created to prove their young core of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and probably Randle could fit splendidly around James, Paul George or DeMarcus Cousins - or failing that, the top free agents in the class of 2019.
The Lakers' solid effort against Cleveland underlined that notion, for whatever it's worth in James' mind.
The Lakers did have a lot of fun on Sunday night at James' expense. The Hawks, already playing without injured point guard Dennis Schroder, lost Kent Bazemore to a right knee sprain and Jaylen Morris to a left ankle injury in the second quarter. The Lakers would have to do some serious maneuvering to re-sign Randle while adding two max free agents, but it's possible.
Sunday's matchup marked the first game between the Lakers and Cavs since a deadline day trade sent Nance and Clarkson to Cleveland for Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye. The forward finished with five points in Utah's win over the Pelicans.
"I'm 33, [LeBron James Jr.] is 13. I took it as another game and I just wanted to win and we did a hell of a job as a team beating that really good team over there".