There was plenty of pomp and circumstance in the Chase Center as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the second game of a doubleheader on NBA Opening Night.
The Warriors collected their 2021-22 Championship Rings before dismantling the Los Angeles Lakers 123-109.
“This is a very special night, celebrating our fourth championship in eight years,” said Steph Curry, who led all scorers with 33 points.
With the spotlight on him, Curry took the opportunity to remind the crowd and viewers that WNBA star Brittney Griner was still being held in Russia.
“Brittney Griner’s birthday is today. She’s 32 years old. We want to continue to let her name be known. And we pray. It’s been 243 days since she’s been wrongfully incarcerated in Russia, and we hope that she comes home soon.”
Golden State then raised their seventh NBA Championship banner and posed with their rings before going to work on the Lakers.
Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points, Klay Thompson had 18 points, and Jordan Poole added 12 points for the Warriors.
LeBron James led with Lakers with 31 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists, almost tallying a triple-double.
Anthony Davis had 27 points and six rebounds, and Russell Westbrook added 19 points starting in place of the injured Dennis Schroder.
But where the Warriors only seemed to have improved since their title win, the Lakers looked eerily similar to last year’s team, desperate for some shooters.
“We has some really good looks that didn’t go in for us,” said James after the game. “To be completely honest, we’re not a team constructed of great shooting… it’s not like we’re sitting here with a lot of lasers on our team. but that doesn’t deter us from still trying to get great shots.”
The Lakers shot 25 percent from beyond the arc and had 21 turnovers, with James accounting for five.
“We try to play as free as possible. Try not to put too much thought into a game,” said James.
The Lakers next take on the Clippers Thursday night.