Golden State kicks off title defense with rout of Lakers

Stephen Curry and the Warriors are off to a rousing start after taking down LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE vie Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Golden State Warriors made their championship ring ceremony sweeter after taking care of business in their very first game of the 2022-2023 NBA Season.

Golden State pulled off a massive win against the Los Angeles Lakers, 123-109, and also spoiled the return of the healthy Anthony Davis.

It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Steve Kerr-led defending champions after setting the tone as early as the first quarter courtesy of Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole’s hot-shooting from the field.

To make matters worse for the Lakers, the Warriors connected more shots from the field in the second quarter and outscored them 34-30, to take a 59-52 lead entering the second half.

Despite Davis’ stellar post play and fast break deuces, the Lakers failed to counter Golden State’s high-octane offense after several miscues on the defensive end.

The Warriors continued to torch the Lakers at the start of the third period and held Los Angeles to their worst scoring quarter of the game with only 19 produced points.

Draymond Green was still Golden State’s Mr. do it all after spearheading a massive run midway in the third that ballooned the Warriors’ lead to as much as 27 points with 1:51 remaining off James Wiseman’s leaner shot at the top of the key.

The Lakers started to show some signs of life in the final canto when they trimmed Golden State’s lead to 12 after a Russell Westbrook slam dunk that electrified the whole Los Angeles bench but Andrew Wiggins came right back in the next possession with a huge step-back triple.

Los Angeles failed to get close to single digits and watched Golden State bury the exclamation point after Curry completed a four-point play when he was fouled off the curl by Patrick Beverley.

It was a convincing opening campaign for Curry after leading all scorers with 33 big points, seven assists, six rebounds, and four steals.

Meanwhile, despite playing under a minutes restriction, Klay Thompson still delivered in the win and dropped 18 points built from two made treys while Poole had 12 points off the bench.

On the other hand, LeBron James had another monster stat line of 31 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists but wasn’t enough to carry the Lakers to their first win of the season.

Davis was exceptional in his return and registered 27 points, six rebounds, and four steals while Westbrook chipped in 19 points, 11 rebounds, and three dimes.

Golden State will gun for their second-straight win on Saturday when they face the revamped Denver Nuggets while the Lakers look to enter the winning column on Friday against Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers.