Kawhi Leonard started a new chapter in his career by scoring 30 points for the Los Angeles Clippers in a 112: 102 victory over LeBron James and the Lakers in the opening game of the new NBA season.
Lou Williams added 21 points and Montrezl Harrell scored 17, despite not starting the game, to help the Clippers start their 50th season in history, for the first time in a long time as favorites for the NBA title.
Leonardo won his second NBA title last season, with the Toronto Raptors, triumphing against the Golden State Warriors in the final.
The Lakers advertised their new lineup with doubles James and Anthony Davis. The latter scored 25 points, being accurate in 9 of 14 free throws, while James scored 18 points. Danny Green scored more than both, 28 points.
But Leonardo came out triumphant against them despite not having his team-mate recruited by himself, Paul George, who suffered a shoulder surgery in the summer.
The Lakers returned from a 14-point deficit during the third quarter of the game, through 18 points scored by Danny Green. Everything was equal in the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the Clippers dominated. Five different players scored and Leonardo assisted Maurice Harkless’s triptych.
After this home game, the Clippers will travel to Golden State on Thursday to open the Chase Center Stadium in San Francisco in another showdown between the favorites.
The Lakers will return to the Staples Centers on Friday against Utah. The Lakes have won 25 of their 37 home games against Jazz in history