The Golden State Warriors defeated LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers 123-109 on Tuesday night after collecting their championship rings in a pregame ceremony. Stephen Curry had 33 points, seven assists, and six rebounds to start the season.
Nearly two weeks after Draymond Green struck Jordan Poole at practice on October 5 and took a brief leave of absence from the club to work on his emotions, everything seemed to be going smoothly for the defending champs when Poole made a lovely bounce pass to a driving Green for a layup. Poole finished with 12 points and 7 aces.
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Russell Westbrook scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds despite having a sore left hamstring, while LeBron James finished with 31 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists. With 27 points from Anthony Davis, the Lakers were unable to keep up as Stephen Curry and company put together another one of their legendary, decisive third quarter.
For the Warriors, who won their fourth title in eight years, Klay Thompson scored 18 points in 20 minutes. Thompson and Green’s playing time was constrained by Golden State coach Steve Kerr because they were absent from the squad until last Thursday.
Following his return in January from a layoff of more than two and a half years due to surgery on his left knee and right Achilles tendon, Kerr indicated he will raise Thompson’s minutes per game as a precaution.
James Wiseman, a center for the Warriors, played for the first time in 2019–20 after missing the entire previous season while his right knee recovered from surgery. He grabbed seven boards and scored eight points.
Philadelphia 76ers win 117–126 Celtics of Boston
The Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 126-117 on Tuesday night in the first game of the NBA regular season. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both scored 35 points. Grant Williams finished with 15 points, Malcolm Brogdon added 16, and the defending Eastern Conference champions awarded interim coach Joe Mazzulla a victory in his first game.
Ime Udoka was suspended for the entire season following an inquiry by a law company that discovered he had broken several team rules, and Mazzulla has been given the responsibility of managing the group. The Celtics squad Mazzulla successfully steered was very similar to the one that made an unexpected run to the NBA finals the previous season.
With eight minutes left, Boston jumped up to a 110-97 advantage and never looked back. Since joining the 76ers in the previous season, James Harden scored 35 points, including 12 of 12 free throws. He made five three-pointers as well.
With 15 rebounds, Joel Embiid contributed 26 points. Tyrese Maxey scored 21 points in total. Mazzulla has vowed to maintain the emphasis on enhancing the atmosphere Udoka created on the floor during his first season as head coach last year.
He claims that it will be done mostly on the defensive end of the court, but on Tuesday, the Celtics’ offense stood out thanks to their 56% field goal shooting. The Celtics used the same starting lineup as in the preseason, starting defensive rock Derrick White alongside Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jayson Brown, and Al Horford.
Big man Robert Williams was out due to recovery from off-season knee surgery. The smaller group accelerated Philadelphia at times, causing the 76ers to commit 14 errors throughout the contest, which resulted in 22 points for Boston.
With Harden entering his first full season in Philadelphia after being traded for Ben Simmons late in the previous season in a deal with Brooklyn, the 76ers want to compete with the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
After a season marked by hamstring issues that limited his efficiency in 21 shortened regular-season games with the Sixers the previous year, Harden appeared revitalized. The 10-time All-Star, who showed the movement he was missing a year ago, infuriated the Celtics.
He frequently managed to reach the free-throw line. He was also successful from beyond the arc, making four of his attempts in the opening period, including a rainbow heave from the top of the key late in the second quarter to beat the shot clock.
In the second game of Tuesday’s season-opening doubleheader, the Golden State Warriors were scheduled to begin defending their NBA championship against the Los Angeles Lakers.