NBA: Kawhi Leonard shines as San Antonio beats Warriors

While Kevin Durant enjoyed a solid enough scoring league debut, with 27 points, the Warriors were comprehensively outplayed by a Spurs side which looked sharper in almost every department.

Kawhi Leonard scored a personal best as Spurs beat Golden State Warriors on the opening day os NBA 2016-17 season.   -  AP

Kawhi Leonard inspired the San Antonio Spurs with 35 points as the Golden State Warriors' much-hyped "super team" crashed to a season-opening 129-100 thrashing on Tuesday.

A packed house at Oakland's Oracle Arena had arrived hoping to see new signee Kevin Durant take his place amongst the most potent offense in the NBA.

But while Durant enjoyed a solid enough scoring league debut, with 27 points, the Warriors were comprehensively outplayed by a Spurs side which looked sharper in almost every department.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both failed to hit the heights of their best form of last year, when they helped the Warriors to a historic NBA record of 73 wins against only nine losses.

Thompson was particularly off-colour, making only one three-pointer from six attempts with Curry sinking only three of 10 in his haul of 26 points.

Instead it was San Antonio which seized control from the contest early on, grabbing a 31-20 lead by the end of the first quarter which it was never to relinquish.

By half-time the Spurs had taken a commanding 64-46 lead and was always able to keep the Warriors at arm's length as it sought to rally thereafter.

While Leonard was outstanding, demonstrating his readiness to step into the leadership role vacated by the retired Tim Duncan, the Spurs also benefited from a dazzling performance from LaMarcus Aldridge, who chipped in with 26 points, 14 rebounds and three assists.

Jonathon Simmons also stood out with 20 points from his 28 minutes on the court while veteran Manu Ginobili also made double figures with 10 points.

Solid start for LeBron and Cleaveland

LeBron James notched a triple-double as the Cleveland Cavaliers launched the defence of its NBA crown with a 117-88 blowout of the New York Knicks on Tuesday.

Kyrie Irving top-scored with 29 points but NBA Finals MVP James stole the show with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists on a night when the Cavs were formally presented with their 2015-2016 championship rings.

James was de facto master of ceremonies before the tip-off as the Cavs hoisted the championship banner from their epic 2015-2016 season, which culminated in the historic comeback victory over Golden State in the finals in June.

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