James scored a game-high 33 points and had 12 assists and seven rebounds in the win Sunday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Trae Young scored 31 points and had seven assists for the Hawks.
The current Lakers superstar gave the fellow all-time great a hug and a handshake in the first quarter of the win, while the Lakers had a 21-5 lead. The Staples Center crowd gave the duo a standing ovation following the exchange.
"Just having him in the building and knowing what he meant to this franchise, what he means to L.A., what it means to be part of the Laker family, it's a beautiful thing for me," James told reporters. "I grew up watching and admiring him."
The Lakers (11-2) erupted with James scoring 12 points in the first nine minutes of the 122-101 triumph. James' crew pushed the lead to 30 points and never trailed in the clash. The Lakers led 36-24 entering the second quarter. Los Angeles outscored Atlanta 33-17 in the second quarter, for a 69-41 lead at the break.
The Hawks (4-9) answered by outscoring the Lakers 36-27 in the third frame, but still trailed 96-77 entering the fourth frame. The Lakers outscored the Hawks 26-24 down the stretch.
Kyle Kuzma had 17 points and five rebounds for the Lakers. Rajon Rondo had 15 points in the win. Anthony Davis chipped in 14 points in 28 minutes for the Lakers. Cam Reddish scored 13 points for the Hawks.