OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) NBA MVP Stephen Curry showed in a hurry he hasn't lost a step or his swagger, scoring 40 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 111-95 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night to open their title defense.
Curry put on a familiar shooting clinic from all over the court, knocking down seven of his first nine shots with four 3-pointers for 24 first-quarter points. He finished 14 for 26 with seven assists and six rebounds in a rematch of the first round of the playoffs that Golden State swept 4-0. It was his 10th career 40-point game.
Curry and the Warriors raised the championship banner and received their rings in an elaborate pregame ceremony featuring glitz, glow sticks and fire. Coach Steve Kerr attended, then left for the locker room to rest his surgically repaired back as interim Luke Walton coached the team.
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Anthony Davis, who averaged 29.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in two games against Golden State last season, shot 4 for 20 and scored 10 of his 18 points on free throws.
BULLS 97, CAVALIERS 95
CHICAGO (AP) - Nikola Mirotic scored 19 points and Derrick Rose added 18 to lead Chicago to a season-opening victory over LeBron James and Cleveland with President Barack Obama watching.
Pau Gasol blocked a potential tying layup by James in the closing seconds. Jimmy Butler then broke up an inbounds pass intended for James as time expired.
The president sat courtside for most of the game as his beloved Bulls knocked off the defending Eastern Conference champions and gave coach Fred Hoiberg a narrow win in his first game.
James scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Cleveland, but the Cavaliers came up short against the team they knocked out in the conference semifinals last season.
PISTONS 106, HAWKS 94
ATLANTA (AP) - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 21 points to lead all five Detroit starters in double figures, carrying the Pistons to a victory over Atlanta and ruining the opener of the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season.
The Pistons, who haven't had a winning season since 2008 and finished 28 games behind the Hawks a year ago, began to pull away just before halftime. They led by double figures through most of the final two quarters and held on despite missing 20 of their last 22 shots from the field.
Andre Drummond had 19 rebounds and 18 points for the Pistons. Marcus Morris also had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Ersan Ilyasova chipped in with 16 points and Reggie Jackson added 15.
Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 20 points. Paul Millsap had 19 and Jeff Teague 18, but new starter Kent Bazemore - who stepped in at small forward after DeMarre Carroll left in free agency - was held scoreless.