Talen Horton-Tucker led the Lakers in scoring for a second straight game with 25.
The Lakers have lost three of their last four games and five of eight overall since James last set foot on the court in a Nov. 2 win over Houston.
The Celtics have lost two of their last three games but have won two in a row in Boston after dropping their first three homes games.
“That game is special,” Tatum said of Friday’s game against Los Angeles. “Everyone knows the history between the two franchises, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of that going on five years now.”
Tatum has averaged 18.6 points in eight career games versus the Lakers.