SAN FRANCISCO: Stephen Curry opened the season with 33 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors beat LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers 123-109 on Tuesday night after receiving their championship rings in a pregame ceremony.
Jordan Poole made a pretty bounce pass to a driving Draymond Green for a layup and all seemed perfectly well with the defending champions almost two weeks after Green punched Poole at practice Oct. 5, then took a brief leave of absence from the team to work on his emotions. Poole wound up with 12 points and seven assists.
James had 31 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, while Russell Westbrook scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds after nursing a sore left hamstring. Anthony Davis added 27 points, but the Lakers couldn’t keep up in another signature, runaway third quarter by reigning NBA Finals MVP Curry and Co.
Klay Thompson contributed 18 points in 20 minutes for the Warriors, who celebrated the franchise’s fourth title in eight years.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr limited the minutes of both Thompson and Green, who was away from the team until last Thursday. Kerr said he will increase Thompson’s minutes each game as a precaution following his return in January from an absence of more than 2 1/2 years for surgeries to his left knee and right Achilles tendon.
Warriors center James Wiseman made his first appearance since his rookie season of 2019-20 after sitting out all of last season recovering from right knee surgery. He had eight points and seven rebounds.
First-year Lakers coach Darvin Ham was thrilled to represent Saginaw, Michigan, in his coaching debut — and proud that it’s also Green’s hometown.
“I’m excited for the city of Saginaw, Michigan, to get to see a kid that represents the city well and happens to be playing some really good basketball and playing at a high level his entire career in Draymond Green,” Ham said. “And now they get to see another kid who is the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. This is a great night for Saginaw.”
“The way we’ve changed some things offensively, defensively within our system is like everything is all coming to this big, beautiful pot of gumbo, so we’ll mix it around with a spoon and see what tastes good and what doesn’t taste so good. I’m looking forward to it.” — Ham on figuring things out
Lakers: F Juan Toscano-Anderson received his championship ring from his former team, the first player to accept the sparkling jewelry. ... Patrick Beverley picked up his third foul with 5:46 left in the first half and shot 1 of 5 for three points. ... C Thomas Bryant had surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament on his left thumb and is scheduled to be re-evaluated by team doctors in about three weeks. “He came in and it was bothering him. The way he plays you know setting screens, diving on the floor, rumble tumble type of big, really providing the physicality, it could have happened anywhere,” Ham said. “Again he got fixed up today so we’re looking forward to a speedy recovery with him.”
Warriors: The Warriors have won three straight at home vs. the Lakers. ... Golden State is 6-1 in home openers after a championship season. ... F Andre Iguodala was inactive for the opener as the Warriors monitor his nagging left hip and manage the 38-year-old forward’s playing time at the start of his 19th season.
Lakers: Host the Clippers for their home opener Thursday.
Warriors: Host Denver on Friday night in a rematch of the first round of this year’s playoffs after the Nuggets handed the Warriors their lone preseason defeat last Friday.