Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points and the Pacers tied an NBA franchise-record by making 19 3-pointers in a 136-94 rout over the Los Angeles Lakers - the most lopsided loss James has endured in his 16-year career.
James missed 17 of the previous 18 games with an injured groin. He missed three of his first five shots, was beaten three times early on defense and had five first-half turnovers before finishing with 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and six turnovers.
JaVale McGee added 16 as the Lakers lost for the sixth time in eight games amid the continuing swirl of trade rumors, something Pacers fans noted by repeatedly chanting ''LeBron's gonna trade you.''
After Bogdanovic opened the game by scoring all of the Pacers' points in a 10-2 spurt, the Lakers never recovered. Myles Turner finished with 22 points while Thaddeus Young had 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
The Pacers host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.