Further down the field, Giovinazzi's teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished a lowly 12th after an early clash with the Williams of George Russell, but the Finn also made a piece of F1 history by making his 323rd start, breaking Rubens Barrichello's long-standing record to become the sport's most experienced driver of all time.
The Heat led for most of the game, thanks to brilliant performances from Butler and Robinson, but the Lakers came roaring back in the fourth quarter to take the lead behind the outstanding play of James.
Peng Huaqian led Wuhan with 17 points, and Ha Wenxi and Deng Ruijie bagged 13 and 11 points respectively.
The warm-up will be Skocic's first match since taking charge of Iran's team as part of preparations for the remaining matches of 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Scaloni also spoke about the challenge of preparing for Argentina's qualifiers during the coronavirus pandemic and underlined the difficulty of South America's 18-round qualifying tournament.
"I've reached a level of maturity that has allowed me to be a part of the national team," he said. "It's a position in which we've always had players with a lot of quality that have created history.
"They [Ecuador] came at us without fear and it was difficult for us to play, but we were calm. In the first half we managed to get the ball back and if we had played more quickly, it would have been different, but it turned out like this, and we have to continue. It was important to get off to a winning start because all matches are going to be tough," he added.
Cao Junwei's 10 points in the first quarter provided Shandong with a 21-19 advantage, but Beijing rode on a 13-0 spurt through Tang and Dong Jingxian's combined efforts to go up 51-36 at half-time.
"Defense is quite vital in such an intense game," he noted.
Questions about Loew's future are popping up, and concerns about the outcome of next year's European Championship are growing.
In the constructors' standings, Mercedes remain well out in front on 391 points, ahead of Red Bull with 211, with Racing Point moving up to third on 120 points.