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Love: LeBron, Lakers 'could do something special'

Kevin Love knows what it's like to play alongside LeBron James, and he believes the King's Los Angeles Lakers are built to make a deep playoff run.

After

winning an NBA title together in 2016 - and making four straight appearances in The Finals - as Cleveland Cavaliers teammates, Love and James squared off Monday for the first time since the latter departed for Los Angeles.

"It was different because it's been so long and we've been through so many battles with each other," Love told ESPN's Dave McMenamin postgame. "I'm not going to say it felt normal, but I feel like we were both out there competing and playing hard, but seeing him play with that team is obviously different.

"Especially, even I didn't get to see him with (Anthony Davis) and it still feels like they could do something special."

At age 35, James continues to wreak havoc against opponents on a nightly basis.

He had another dominant performance in Monday's 128-99 win, scoring a game-high 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting to go along with eight dimes, which moved him ahead of Isiah Thomas for eighth on the NBA's all-time assists list.

James leads all players with a career-high 10.7 assists per game. He would be the second-oldest player behind Steve Nash to win the assists title.

Love admitted, however, that even he wasn't sure James could immediately vault the Lakers back into title contention at this stage of his career.

"Everybody did (have some doubt)," Love said. "What do they say, I'm not a religious guy, but, 'You want to make God laugh, tell him your plans?' There's no sure thing other than death and taxes, right? Another cliche. But it's true.

"Who is to know that it will all work out? But they got really fortunate that it's obviously L.A., it's LeBron, and they're in win-now mode. They really have a chance."

The Lakers own the NBA's second-best record at 33-7 and have a 5 1/2-game lead atop the Western Conference.