NBA:-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 on 5 October, 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 two and a half 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.
Curry took the microphone in the middle of Golden State’s championship ring ceremony to make an impassioned plea in support of Brittney Griner as the WNBA star spent her 32nd birthday in a Russian prison.
“We want to continue to use our platform and the opportunity to shout out a very special member of the basketball community. Brittney Griner’s birthday is today, she’s 32,” Curry told the crowd.