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LeBron James dazzled the crowd in his exhibition debut for the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday but he couldn’t get them a victory as they dropped a 124-107 decision to the Denver Nuggets.

James finished with nine points, three rebounds and four assists in just over 15 minutes of playing time in front of 13,500 fans at the Valley View Casino in San Diego.

“It was great to get back on the floor and start a new journey for myself,” he said. “It was great to hear the roar from the (San Diego) crowd.”

James was cheered throughout the contest with one of the biggest ovations coming when he emerged from the tunnel for the pre-game warmup.


He played eight minutes before sitting down on the bench.

James left the Cleveland Cavaliers for a four-year, $153 million free-agent deal with the Lakers.

Lakers fans feel James is just what the struggling team needs during its worst half-decade in history.

The Lakers’ regular-season opener is October 18 at Portland, followed two nights later by their first home game against Houston.