The Golden State Warriors officially kicked things off at the Chase Center on Saturday, hosting the Los Angeles Lakers in a preseason bout to mark their first game at the new arena in San Francisco.
Steph Curry, though, may want to head back to Oakland instead.
Curry, just seconds into the 123-101 loss, jacked up one of his trademark deep 3-pointers from just inside the midcourt logo. His shot, however, was wildly off the mark.
Curry air-balled so badly that the ball didn’t even brush the net as it fell short of the hoop and bounced out along the baseline.
Curry didn’t take it too hard, though, and could be seen smiling the entire way down the court as he ran back on defense.
The Warriors star had nothing to worry about. Nearly four minutes later, after getting used to his new surroundings on the other side of the Bay, Curry scored the first points for Golden State in the new arena — drilling a deep two-pointer from the wing.
Curry finished the night with a team-high 18 points in 17 minutes, shooting 1-of-5 from behind the arc. Jordan Poole added 17 off the bench, and Eric Paschall finished with 11. Those three were the only Warriors to score in double figures.
Anthony Davis’ explosive first quarter
Anthony Davis didn’t waste any time in his first official outing as a Lakers star on Saturday afternoon.
Davis, in just the first 12 minutes of the preseason game in San Francisco, dropped 17 points and seven rebounds — and had five dunks. The six-time All Star was cleaning up everything inside, propelling the Lakers to a 33-20 lead after the first quarter.
Now, it is just a preseason game. The Warriors had no answer for Davis whatsoever.
If that trend continues through the year, the Lakers are going to be one tough team to slow down inside.
The team’s former president of basketball operations enjoyed the show, too.
Laker Nation, I just watched Lebron and Anthony Davis put on a show in the 1st quarter of the Lakers vs. Warriors exhibition game. Watch out rest of the NBA!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 6, 2019
Davis finished the night with a double-double 22 points and 10 rebounds, leading Los Angeles — who never trailed in the game — to the 22-point win. He seemed to mesh well with LeBron James, too, proving the duo has what it takes to make waves in the league this season.
LeBron had some ‘jitters’
One wouldn’t think that the best basketball player in the world, who has 16 seasons in the NBA under his belt, would be nervous for a preseason game at this point in his career.
LeBron James was just that on Saturday night.
It was roughly six months since James played in a real basketball game, as the Lakers failed to make the postseason last year — marking the first time James has missed the playoffs since 2005.
The groin injury James suffered last year, which limited him to just 55 games last season, took place at Oracle Arena in the Bay Area, too.
Those factors combined, he said, did the trick.
“I had some jitters tonight,” James said. “I had some butterflies in my stomach, just straight up excitement and also a little bit of nervousness too. I got hurt in the Bay when I was at full strength. It was great to get back out there and have a lot of fun.”
Interesting postgame comment from LeBron that he had pregame jitters – both from a long layoff from the game, and also because he was injured last time he played in the Bay. pic.twitter.com/w6JEkxlDb7
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) October 6, 2019
But James — who finished with 15 points in 17 minutes, shooting 5-of-10 from the field —insisted that he wasn’t thinking of Saturday’s game as anything less than a regular game, even with it being their first preseason tilt of the year.
The rest of the Lakers, he said, followed his lead on that front.
“I didn’t even think about it being a preseason game,” James said. “I thought about it being a game, and how we can get better. I didn’t want to take it lightly because it’s a preseason game. I think none of us did, and we got better.”
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