The Golden State Warriors responded to a fourth championship-ring ceremony in the last eight years with a performance it hopes will lead to a fifth in nine, riding Stephen Curry’s game-high 33 points to a 123-109 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Opening Night in the NBA on Tuesday.
Andrew Wiggins chipped in with 20 points and Klay Thompson had 18 as the Warriors, which opened their championship season a year ago with a road win over the Lakers, gradually pulled away over the final three quarters.
LeBron James went for a team-high 31 points, Anthony Davis finished with 27 and Russell Westbrook tallied 19 for the Lakers, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a sixth straight loss on Opening Night.
Held to 25 points in the first quarter, the Warriors poured in 34, 32 and 32 over the final three periods, shooting 45.5 overall while outscoring the Lakers 48-30 on 3-pointers.
Curry bombed in four threes in 13 attempts and Wiggins nailed another four in six fewer tries, pacing a Golden State attack that saw seven different players nail 3-pointers.
Curry also found time for six rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
Jordan Poole was a fourth Warrior in double figures with 12 points off the bench while also dishing out seven assists.
James, with 14 rebounds, and Westbrook, with 11 boards, completed double-doubles for the Lakers. James missed a triple-double by two assists, notching a game-high eight.
Kendrick Nunn added 13 points off the bench for the Lakers, who missed the 2022 playoffs after finishing the regular season with 20 fewer wins than Golden State.
The Lakers shot just 10-for-40 on 3-pointers. James made three in 10 attempts.
After a sluggish start for both teams that could have been the result of the long ring ceremony, the Warriors finally got their offensive game in gear in the second quarter, running out to as many as a 14-point lead.
Curry (16) and Poole (10) combined for 26 points in the half, during which Golden State used 13 assists to help build a 59-52 lead.
Davis had 15 points, James posted 14 and Westbrook nabbed 11 in the half for the Lakers.
Golden State’s biggest lead in the game was 27.