NBA: Clippers emerge on top against Lakers in the battle for Los Angeles

Neither Los Angeles Lakers nor Los Angeles Clippers was at full strength on opening night, but Kawhi Leonard's 30-point game proved to be the difference.

Even though the Clippers served as the home team, the stands were filled with Lakers fans who showered boos on Kawhi Leonard. But the reigning NBA Finals MVP wasn't unfazed as he led his team to victory.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Los Angeles Clippers rode on Kawhi Leonard's 30-point game to overpower LeBron James' Los Angeles Lakers and bag a 112-102 victory in the teams' season opener on Wednesday.

Neither the Lakers nor the Clippers was at full strength on opening night, but the energy at the Staples Center was something else. Even though the Clippers served as the home team, the stands were filled with Lakers fans who showered boos on Kawhi Leonard. But the reigning NBA Finals MVP wasn't unfazed as he led his team to victory.

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The fun guy himself torched the Lakers with 30 points, six rebounds, and five assists and had no Paul George with him.

The Lakers was missing Kyle Kuzma and Rajon Rondo but did have its superstar duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who combined for 43 points, 19 rebounds, and 13 assists. Danny Green unexpectedly exploded for a team-high 28 points but the Clippers' 60 bench points were a difference-maker.

Knowing that this was such a good game with key pieces missing for both sides should only make basketball fans more excited for later meetings.