The 75th season of the NBA is finally upon us, and boy, the opening night games lived up to its billing.
Reigning Champions, Milwaukee Bucks were treated to cheers and rounds of applause at the Fiserv Forum as they received their championship ring and observed the reveal of the championship banner hoisted in the rafters for the first time in 50 years.
THE CODED RING
Designed in collaboration with jeweler Jason of Beverly Hills, the celebratory bauble features loads of diamonds, a piece that allows it to be worn as a necklace and a QR code that plays highlights when scanned.
The jeweler, whose real name is Jason Arasheben, is increasingly the go-to source for championship priced possession. In the past year, he has helped create rings for the Los Angeles Lakers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and even Drake’s rec league basketball team.
BUCKS ANNIHILATE NETS
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Bucks to a 127-104 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night. Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton each added 20 points to help the Bucks withstand the loss of Jrue Holiday, who sat out the second half with a bruised right heel after scoring 12 points. Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said MRI results on Holiday were encouraging.
The Greek Freak picked up right where he left off.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) October 20, 2021
32 PTS | 14 REB | 7 AST | 2 BLK | 1 STL pic.twitter.com/0xhTxmTN7E
Kevin Durant led the Nets with 32 points and 11 rebounds. Patty Mills scored 21 points and shot 7 of 7 from 3-point range. James Harden added 20 points.
“We weren’t very good,” Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said. “If you’re not playing at a high level against the champs, you are not going to win.”
The Nets were missing star guard Kyrie Irving due to his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
KING JAMES’ 19TH SEASON
After enduring an injury that saw him below-par last season, Lebron James appeared rejuvenated and scored 34 points for the Lakers in 121-114 defeat to the Steph Curry led Golden State Warriors.
King coming through. pic.twitter.com/WUPxtd5JEb— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) October 20, 2021
While a slow start put Steve Kerr’s squad behind early, the Warriors’ old signature “strength in numbers” effect was put on display. With a rare Steph Curry cold shooting night underway, Jordan Poole and Nemanja Bjelica led Golden State back into the contest in the second half.
A late run featuring Poole’s scoring and Bjelica’s playmaking helped push the Warriors to a comeback win over LeBron James and the Lakers. Despite shooting 47.4% shooting from the field and 35.7% shooting from deep, the Warriors finished the contest with 30 assists.
THE SEASON’S FIRST DOUBLE OVERTIME
The Midweek schedule was loaded with games, infact one was spoiled for choice, but the pick of the bunch emerged from the Madison Square Garden where the New York Knicks hosted 17-time champions, Bostin Celtics.
Double Overtime decided the game, as Julius Randle scored 35 points, with Evan Fournier making the go-ahead 3-pointer in the second overtime and to score 32 points against his former team, and the New York Knicks outlasted Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics 138-134 on Wednesday night.
Brown scored a career-high 46 points after overcoming a bout of COVID-19 and Jayson Tatum had the biggest basket of his awful opener with a three-point play that gave Boston a 134-133 lead with 1:05 remaining.
OTHER GAMES OF THE NIGHT
Bulls outlast Detroit: Zach LaVine scored 15 of his 34 points in the third quarter to spark torpid Chicago, leading the Bulls to a 94-88 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night in the opener for both teams.
LaMelo rally Hornets over Pacers: LaMelo Ball scored 31 points, hitting seven 3-pointers, and the Charlotte Hornets used a 24-0 third period run to battle back and beat the Indiana Pacers 123-122 on Wednesday night.
Grizzlies pip Cavs: Ja Morant had 37 points and six assists, De’Anthony Melton added 20 points and the Memphis Grizzlies pulled away in the fourth for a 132-121 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Beal’s wizardry overcome Raptors: Bradley Beal scored 23 points, Montrezl Harrell had 22 in his Wizards debut and Washington spoiled Toronto’s homecoming, beating the Raptors 98-83.