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Isaiah Thomas scores 22 points, turns ball over 6 times in Lakers debut

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Thomas’s first game as a Laker showed the highs and lows of the embattled point guard.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah Thomas scored 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field in his first game after being traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers in the waning hours of the Feb. 8 trade deadline. He also dished out six assists and turned the ball over six times. His debut in purple and gold was a glimpse into what Los Angeles will see for the remainder of the season.

Thomas scored 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the first half alone. But he cooled off a bit in the second half, making only two of his next four shots. He also effectively lost the game for the Los Angeles down the stretch, turning the ball over with under a minute to go with one of his dreaded jump passes.

Thomas was unexpectedly traded to the Cavaliers over the summer, and when things didn’t go according to plan, he was unceremoniously exported to Los Angeles. Thomas hadn’t recovered to 100 percent after a torn labrum in his hip sidelined him for seven months. There was a fear the former Celtics All-Star had been diminished to two damning words: Damaged goods.

Thomas will use the remaining games of the 2017-18 season to prove to team he isn’t damaged goods, that he’s still the player who averaged 29 points per game for a No. 1 seed Boston Celtics team last season. And even if he isn’t that player, he’ll want to prove he can at least be a valuable contributor on a playoff team.

There’s no telling how Thomas’s story in Los Angeles ends, but it began much better than it ended in Cleveland. Now, it’s up to him to write the end of this chapter.