The debut of Russell Westbrook and the Big 3 did not go according to plan as the Los Angeles Lakers lost on Opening Night to the Golden State Warriors, 121-114.
The Lakers didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard as LeBron James kicked things off by finding DeAndre Jordan for an alley-oop right off the opening tip. James then drained a long jumper over Draymond Green, but a Stephen Curry three put the Warriors up early. However, James was able to make plays on both ends, blocking a shot and nailing a couple threes to give the Lakers a 17-12 lead.
With Golden State going small, Los Angeles looked to feed Anthony Davis, who was able to score over the top of the defense. Carmelo Anthony and Davis kept the Lakers offense afloat and helped the team maintain a 34-32 lead after one.
James picked up where he left off to begin the second quarter, nailing two more jumpers and later forcing a turnover to get L.A. in transition. The Warriors managed to tie the game at 41, but the Lakers responded with another jumper from James and a Rajon Rondo corner 3-pointer to take a five-point advantage.
With Curry out on the floor, Kent Bazemore continued to impress defensively and made it tough for the Warriors star to get open. Meanwhile, Davis was able to take advantage of his size and Anthony nailed his second three of the night to put Los Angeles up 59-53 at halftime.
Although Westbrook was aggressive getting to the rim, the Lakers allowed an 7-0 Warriors run that tied the game. However, L.A. immediately responded with a 7-0 run of their own highlighted by a fastbreak ending in a James to Davis dunk.
James remained hot from the field, streaking down the floor for a thunderous slam and later following it up with a splash from downtown. With James back on the bench, Davis took control of the game on both ends of the floor but Golden State managed to cut the deficit to 85-83 heading into the fourth.
Golden State briefly retook the lead after a pair of threes from Jordan Poole and Damion Lee, while Westbrook continued to struggle with his shot and turnovers. Poole scored from nearly every spot on the floor, keying a 15-5 run and extending the Golden State lead to eight.
Avery Bradley provided a major spark off the bench for the Lakers, knocking down a pair of threes and playing hard-nosed perimeter defense to pull L.A. closer. However, the Warriors roared back with beautiful ball movement and an Andrew Wiggins three seemed to be the dagger.
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