Stephen Curry capped a game-high, 32-point performance with a key three-point play with 1:46 remaining last night, helping the hosts Golden State Warriors hold off the Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder 108-100 in the second half of the NBA’s opening-night doubleheader.
Kevin Durant dropped in 27 points for the Warriors, who overcame 7-for-26 shooting from 3-point range to win on opening night for the first time in three seasons.
Paul George had a team-high 27 points and Dennis Schroder made his Oklahoma City debut with 21 points. They helped the Thunder hang tough with the two-time defending champions while Westbrook watched from courtside, still rehabbing a surgically repaired knee.
Curry’s three-point play came after the Thunder, down by 14 in the first half, had closed within 99-97 when Steven Adams converted the second of two free throws with 1:57 to go.
Durant added a hoop, two free throws and an assist in the final 1:06, helping Golden State hold on.
George scored 13 points in the first 3:56 of the third period, leading a 21-10 Thunder flurry that produced Oklahoma City’s first lead of the game at 67-66.
Two free throws by Thunder forward Jerami Grant tied the game at 87-all with 9:21 to go before two free throws by Durant nine seconds later gave Golden State the lead for good.
Curry, who hit 11 of 20 shots and 5 of 9 3-point attempts, also found time for nine assists and eight rebounds.
Kevon Looney recorded a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double, while Draymond Green grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who split the four-game season series with the Thunder last season.
Adams had a double-double for the Thunder with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Warriors led for the first 28 minutes, with Curry propelling them to an early 31-19 advantage by making his first two 3-point attempts.
A free throw by Durant with 3:04 left in the half gave Golden State a 53-39 lead, which the Thunder trimmed to 57-47 by halftime.
The Boston Celtics will need time to figure out how to get the most out of their loaded roster this season.
It didn’t stop them from picking up their first victory on a night they celebrated the official return of their two biggest stars. Jayson Tatum had 23 points and nine rebounds, and the Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 105-87 in the season opener for both teams.
Boston won despite shooting just 43 percent (42 of 97) from the field and 30 percent from the 3-point line (11 of 37). But the Celtics’ struggles didn’t dampen the mood inside TD Garden for the return to regular-season action from injury lay-offs for Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Ben Simmons finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists.