They met as teenagers at a USA Basketball camp, are members of the famed 2003 NBA Draft class, and have gone to battle alongside and against one another many times over their respective careers.
"We got so much history," James told reporters, including ESPN's Dave McMenamin, after the Lakers' 136-113 win. "We've been competing for a long time, we've been on the same team with the Olympics, and then just our brotherhood. That's my brother, man.
"It's always great to be able to compete and just be on the same floor - period. No matter if it's, like I said, with Team USA, when we're teammates, or just competing on our respective clubs."
Anthony was without an NBA job until November and was prepared to walk away from the game before the Trail Blazers offered him a deal, so the chance to match up against James again was particularly meaningful for him.
"It's always fun going against him, playing against him in Year 17 for both of us," Anthony said. "Being able to compete against one another at this level, and in now our 17th year, you can't ask for more than that."
James, 34, finished Friday's game with 31 points, eight assists, and seven boards. The 35-year-old Anthony posted 15 points, three boards, and three steals.
The Lakers and Trail Blazers meet again in Portland on Dec. 28.