A gripping encounter went to the additional period after James assisted Danny Green's buzzer-beating three-pointer to complete a 10-point comeback from the Lakers, who eventually prevailed 119-110.
But much of the focus was on basketball's reigning king and potential heir on an historic night.
Doncic and James became the first opponents in NBA history to manage triple-doubles of 30 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists in the same game, also becoming the youngest and oldest players respectively to achieve this feat.
Dallas star Doncic (31 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists) revelled in the opportunity to take on an all-time great in this manner.
"That was just some crazy stuff for me," he said. "I've been following him. He was my idol from the beginning. I can play against him and play a game like that."
James (39 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists) was full of praise for his opponent, although he insisted he did not look at the game as an individual tussle.
"I don't really get into the one-on-one battle," he said. "Obviously he's a great young talent. I love his game, his ability to not only create shots for himself.
"But you guys know I love the fact that he can get great looks for his team-mates. That's what I thrive on, that's what I've always believed in, and he just plays the game the right way."
Doncic responded: "The words that he said after the game were something that were very special for me.
"They [the Lakers] are a championship team. We had a chance to win. We did some great things out there and we should be proud of ourselves."