Paul George scored 26 of his 33 points in the second half, Kawhi Leonard added 26 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied past the Los Angeles Lakers on the NBA champions’ ring ceremony night for a 116-109 victory Tuesday.
George went 13 of 18 with five three-pointers in an outstanding first game since agreeing to add four years and $190m to his contract with the Clippers, who never trailed. The Clippers beat the Lakers in the season opener for the second straight year while winning coach Tyronn Lue’s debut.
LeBron James scored 22 points and Anthony Davis had 18 for the Lakers just 72 days after they finished off the Miami Heat in the NBA bubble.
The Lakers returned from the shortest offseason in league history and received their championship rings honoring the franchise’s 17th title, but they couldn’t keep up with George and Leonard down the stretch.
Serge Ibaka scored 15 points in his debut for the Clippers, who hadn’t played since blowing a 3-1 playoff series lead to Denver and ruining a much-anticipated conference final showdown with the waiting Lakers in the bubble.
Brooklyn Nets 125, Golden State Warriors 99
Kevin Durant shook off 18 months of rust and finished with 22 points in 25 minutes, Kyrie Irving was even better and Brooklyn kicked off the Steve Nash era with a win over Golden State in the NBA’s season opener.
Durant was competing in his first official game since rupturing his Achilles tendon while playing for Golden State in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Irving led Brooklyn with 26 points and Caris LeVert scored 20 as the Nets led by as many as 38 points.
Stephen Curry had 20 points and 10 assists for the Warriors.
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