Larger groups that had recently gathered were on hand for both sides during a 5 1/2-hour session Thursday. Neither side would comment on whether progress had been made.
Owners locked players out July 1. The regular season is scheduled to begin on Nov. 1.
"I don't really know that (the size of the negotiating teams) is a positive or negative," NBA Commissioner David Stern said. "I just know that it's time to bring the parties into the room who are going to be responsible for either making a deal or deciding if there shouldn't be a deal."
"It's one thing to try and gain as much traction as we can in smaller group settings," said union president Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers. "But at some point before you can try to make any attempt at a large progress, you have to involve all your respective members that are ultimately going to make the decisions."
The owners will meet separately in Dallas next week and the players will gather in Las Vegas.
"I do think there will be an effort, at least from our part, to have some type of feeling about where this is going by the time we go and talk to our players on Thursday in Las Vegas," Fisher said. "I can't assume that's what Commissioner Stern and the league will do."