The 2023 NBA Basketball season kicked off last night with the TNT crew of Ernie Johnson, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal hosting “Inside The NBA,” from Denver, Colorado, home of the 2022-23 NBA Champion Denver Nuggets.
The night began with the Nuggets celebrating their championship by receiving their Championship rings, then the Nuggets did battle with the Los Angeles Lakers during the first marquee game of the evening.
The Champions took up where they left off last year with a convincing win over the Lakers 119-107. The Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, finished with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists — the 106th triple-double of his career. The Lakers were led by LeBron James, who scored 21 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Anthony Davis, who scored 17 points in the first half, was held scoreless in the second half, which proved to be too much for LA to overcome.
The second game was the Phoenix Suns at the Golden State Warriors, where Chris Paul made his debut in the Warriors lineup next to Stephen Curry and Clay Thompson.
The Sun’s Kevin Durant played his first game at the Chase arena since leaving to play for the New Jersey Nets. Devin Booker led the Suns with 32 points, while Durant delivered 18 points making 7 of 22 shots. The Suns spoiled the Warriors home debut with a 108-104 win on opening night.
Wednesday night’s marquee games on ESPN will begin with the New York Knicks hosting the Boston Celtics, followed by the San Antonio Spurs and their 2023 #1 draft pick, rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama making his NBA debut against the visiting Dallas Mavericks and their star Luka Doncic.