"That ball movement, that body movement that he had when he was in Golden State."The Cavs traded Thomas, Channing Frye (who's out recovering from an appendectomy) and their first round pick for Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson". Buddy Hield scored 18 points, while former Nuggets player Kosta Koufos chipped in 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings.
Since an very bad nine-game losing streak earlier in the year, they've gone 19-9 and over the course of a season, they would be on course for 50 wins at that pace.
During Sunday night's game, Thomas came off the bench and played 31 minutes.
"Julius has been big for us all year", Zo said afterward. Thomas, who shared hugs with several of his former Cavs teammates including J.R. Smith at half court before the game, got a little revenge against the Cavs who traded him away after he played only 15 games for the them following his hip surgery.
And Los Angeles didn't even show off the full scope of its young talent: Ball struggled with his shot on the way to seven assists and five points, while top scorer Ingram missed his fifth straight game with a groin strain and rookie Josh Hart remained out with a broken hand.
Thomas did not have anything to prove against the Cavs - he finished fifth in the NBA MVP voting last season with the Celtics, right behind James - but his performance had to feel good.
"I'm a competitive person and he's really competitive", Kuzma added.
"You want to get the most from whoever is playing, but sometimes you can't overcome this many injuries that we have".
"I had the challenge of guarding the best player in the game, so you know I loved to take that challenge and take it personally", Randle said.
Clarkson, who finished 1-for-8 from the field with just four points and four assists, and Nance stopped by the Lakers' locker room before the game to say hello to their old friends.
Dwight Powell led the Mavericks with 20 points, one short of his career high, on 9-of-11 shooting. If the four-time NBA MVP declares for free agency following this season, the Lakers are believed to be among the frontrunners for his services.
"Yeah, they stopped by [the locker room] on their way in - uninvited", Lakers coach Luke Walton deadpanned before the game. "They know what I can do". It will be fun.