Kobe Bryant rose to his feet and clapped in celebratory fashion as LeBron stepped to the free throw line with 12.9 seconds remaining, the game in the bag. The Los Angeles Lakers, inspired by LeBron James' triple-double (28-11-11) handed the Denver Nuggets their first loss of the 2018-2019 season. Everyone on the roster, LeBron included, seemed to be "energized" by Kobe Bryant's presence in the Staples Center, on a night where the organization honored the all-time great.

Nevertheless, LeBron kept his knickers untangled when he spoke of Kobe Bryant's presence after the game. "I absolutely (noticed him), of course. You notice him sitting right there on the baseline over there," said James. "(He's one) of the all-time Laker greats. What he's done for this franchise in his 20-plus years that he was here ... it speaks wonders."

Lance Stephenson was the player LeBron credited with helping him steer the team to victory. Stephenson came off the bench in the 4th, burying back-to-back three-pointers during an invertible streak for the Lakers, of which Lance scored 8 of his 12 points on the night. "I was really impressed with Lance," Bryant agreed.

The Lakers face the new-look San Antonio Spurs on Saturday evening. Pop's team sits at a modest 2-2, in no way indicative of DeMar Derozan's blazing start.