LeBron James announced his arrival to the Lakers with a thunderous dunk

LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

"I always kind of compare it to like instant oatmeal".

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined for 49 points, and Nik Stauskas matched his career high with 24 points in his first appearance in a Portland uniform, leading the Trail Blazers past the visiting Los Angeles Lakers 128-119 on Thursday (Oct 18) in the National Basketball Association (NBA) season opener for both teams.

Learning to play as a cohesive unit is a process that happens "not as fast as you guys think it's going to happen", James said, according to ESPN. "It takes some time to get that chemistry where you can just close your eyes and know exactly where guys are".

The Lakers kick off their 2018-2019 campaign on Thursday with a trip to Portland to battle the Trail Blazers before hosting Houston on Saturday.

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The four-time MVP wasted little time in whipping his fans into an early frenzy with back-to-back tomahawk dunks - a fitting way to record his first points for the Lakers. Los Angeles shot 48.4 per cent from the field but were only seven of 30 on three-point attempts.

It's just one game, but if that trend continues, it's not a good one.

With the Lakers, James has joined a revamped group that includes veterans Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley - as well as a young core of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and rookie Moe Wagner.

Ball is will also be on a minutes restriction for the night, Luke Walton said during the morning shootaround. "We talked about those are things we get better at". We want to bring L.A. back.

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