LeBron James makes Laker debut in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO -- LeBron James made his debut with the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday evening when they opened preseason play at Valley View Casino Center against the Denver Nuggets.

The game was officially sold out, but tickets were available at online resellers late into Sunday afternoon.

King James played 15 minutes, scoring nine points and grabbing three rebounds.

James signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers in July after a four-season stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who he led to the NBA Finals each season, winning the championship in 2016.

James joins a team that has missed the playoffs a team-record five consecutive seasons. However, the Lakers 35 victories during the 2017-18 season were their most since the 2012-13 season, the most recent time they made the playoffs.

The game marks the Lakers return to San Diego after a one-season absence.

The Lakers annually scheduled a preseason game in San Diego from 1999- 2012 and again from 2014-2016. Two preseason games in China in 2013 left them unable to play a preseason game in San Diego that year, a team official said.

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