The Golden State Warriors opened the season in style with a ring ceremony and victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tip Off Tuesday. Steph Curry stole the show with 33 points in the 123-109 victory.
Champions receive their rings
On a night that began with championship final festivities, the Warriors sent their fans home to celebrate their season-opening title defense victory. Golden State received its championship rings and hung the banner from the rafters, but then got down to business once the new season was announced.
Both teams started the first quarter with understandable slowness on the opening night of the new season. Golden State struggled to hold on to the ball, turning the ball over six times, while the Lakers were just 1/10 from downtown in the first 12 minutes. Three-point shooting was a liability for the Lakers last year and started the campaign with similar issues.
Lakers shooting struggles continue
Anthony Davis was one of the few scoring options to start the game, getting 10 points in the first quarter, but the Warriors led 25-22 early in the second.
Stephen Curry took over in the second quarter, scoring eight straight points to extend the Warriors’ lead to 14 point but LeBron James would respond. James had a slow start but warmed up as the game wore on and his 14 points in the first half helped trim LA who led 59-52 before halftime.
It felt like the same old story as last year for the Lakers in the third quarter. They were guilty of simply stopping games during their tumultuous 2021/22 campaign, and they did the same coming out of halftime in San Francisco.
Golden State withdraws in the third quarter
Thompson started early at halftime with nine quick points. The Warriors then went 25-4 late in the quarter to extend the lead to 27 points. There was a five-minute streak in which LeBron James and the Lakers went scoreless as the Warriors landed the first knockout.
The Lakers tried to come back, going on a 13-2 run to start the fourth quarter, but the damage was done and the Warriors picked up an easy win at Chase Center.
It’s been a relatively smooth offseason for the Warriors, who haven’t seen much change in the roster. Until the last week of pre-season, everything went without incident, but Draymond Green’s punch made for a bumpy start to the season. On Tuesday, the Warriors could finally get back to what they do best, winning basketball games.
Steph Curry finished the game with 33 points on 10-22 shooting, while Andrew Wiggins threw 20.
LeBron James led the Lakers with 31 points and 14 rebounds as Anthony Davis contributed 27 points, but that wasn’t enough to keep the Warriors within striking distance in the second half.