OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Stephen Curry had 32 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, Kevin Durant added 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and the Golden State Warriors opened their quest for a three-peat by holding off the Oklahoma City Thunder, 108-100, on Tuesday night.
Golden State needed a strong fourth quarter to win on a festive night after the two-time defending champions received their 2018 rings in a pregame ceremony shortly before tipoff and began the final season at Oracle Arena before a move across San Francisco Bay to new Chase Center .
“It’s a great move for the organization. We know that but this place is special, so we want to make sure this is a special season,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Klay Thompson shot just 5 of 20 for 14 points while center Damian Jones scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting for the Warriors in his first career start and 26th game.
Paul George scored 27 points for the Thunder, who struggled to find an offensive groove while missing star Russell Westbrook because of knee surgery last month.
Oklahoma City trailed by 10 at the break then came out of halftime making 9-of-12 shots to go ahead 69-66 before the Warriors rallied.
Versatile Warriors All-Star Draymond Green, limited during the preseason by a sore knee, wound up with two points, 13 rebounds and five assists in nearly 33 minutes. Kerr plans to monitor his minutes in the early games.
“He told me if you look tired, I’m taking you out, so, maybe I’ll try to hide it,” Green joked at morning shootaround.
Curry, who shot 11 for 20 with five 3s, notched 17 30-point performances during his injury-shortened 2017-18 season.
These teams met in a season opener for the first time — though the Warriors won on the road against the Seattle SuperSonics in 1983.
Golden State lost last year’s opener at Oracle after a title run, 122-121 to the Rockets.
CELTICS 105, 76ERS 87
In Boston, the 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 on Tuesday night 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 for Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
Hayward said it was “amazing” to be back out there.