Even then, Williamson’s Pelicans team put up a heck of a fight in an overtime loss to the defending champion Toronto Raptors.
Later in the evening, the Lakers and Clippers renewed what had been a non-existent rivalry for the better part of the past two decades.
The Staples Center was absolutely lit as Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis made their Southern California debuts. In the end, the Clippers came out on top in another tightly-contested affair.
Here, we look at the biggest winners and losers from NBA’s opening night doubleheader action.
The defending champions are going to be asking a lot from VanVleet following the departure of reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. At least for one night, VanVleet showed that he was more than up for the task.