Takeaways from Golden State’s season opener

LOS ANGELES — The Warriors made a bet that their shooting ability and ball movement could offset the size disadvantage that comes with their small-ball lineup. The strategy faced an immediate test against the lengthy Los Angeles Lakers but held up in a 121-114 win to open the regular season Tuesday night.

Golden State overcame 30-point performances from LeBron James and Anthony Davis to prevail in a season-opening matchup of two teams with fresh looks and higher hopes than last season. Stephen Curry turned in a triple-double despite a cold shooting night, while Jordan Poole led five other Warriors in double figures with 20 points.

Here are some quick takeaways.

Star strength

Stephen Curry’s season opener was bookended by a associate of tumbles.

He took a hard fall early in the first quarter driving against Anthony Davis, then appeared to slip on a spilled drink while running back on defense in the second half. He stayed in but was uncharacteristically off from the field.

Curry never heated up, but he made his presence felt in other ways with 10 assists and 10 rebounds, plus a trio of free throws after he drew a foul against two defenders that pulled the Warriors within two points to close the third quarter.

The triple double was Curry’s first since his second MVP campaign of 2015-16 and the eighth of his career.

Curry made another big shot after re-entering the game with less than 6 minutes to go, pulling up from 3 to pad the Warriors rule, 103-98. He drew Avery Bradley’s attention on the following possession and dished it to Nemanja Bjelica, who drained the shot from distance to keep Los Angeles under control.

Curry finished 5-of-21 from the field and turned the ball over four times, including a bad pass that cost Golden State two points on a fastbreak.

Green was equally ineffective, while Andrew Wiggins also had another quiet offensive showing as he continued to shake off the rust. He sank a meaningful 3 to extend the Warriors’ rule into double digits — their largest of the game — with just under 3 minutes to play.

Green coughed the ball up three times while Golden State fell into a first-quarter hole. He scored six points, pulled in eight rebounds and dished out six assists.

Wiggins finished with 12 points in 25 minutes 5-of-10 shooting.

Meanwhile, James and Davis combined for 67 points (and, it often felt, at the minimum that many lobs).

The Warriors’ bench more than made up the difference: Golden State’s reserves outscored the Lakers’ by a 55-29 margin.

JTA’s big draw

Just look at who Juan Toscano-Anderson bodied up as soon as he entered the game: Davis, then Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook. The Warriors turned to Toscano-Anderson when Draymond Green was called for his second foul.

Almost closest, the Lakers began to adventure the size advantage.

Rondo lobbed an alley oop to Davis, which he slammed home to make it 50-43.

The small-ball Warriors are going to be challenged by big teams like the Lakers until James Wiseman is able to return.

Toscano-Anderson will play a pivotal role if he’s able to keep up his own despite losing a associate inches.

Opening night surprises

A associate surprises from the first game: Nemanja Bjelica’s big role — and Moses Moody’s debut midway by the second quarter.

Teammates insist Bjelica is more than a identify-up shooter, and he showed as much Tuesday night. He entered with Andre Iguodala in the first rotation of subs off the bench and was on the floor to close the first half.

Some of Bjelica’s biggest contributions came on a associate of driving lay-ups in change, one of which drew Curry off the bench and into a happy-feet celebration.

Moody, the 14th overall pick in the past NBA draft, saw his first NBA action after entering with 8:21 to go in the second quarter. He got up a associate quick shots, maybe too quick, but got his first NBA bucket out of the way on a excursion down the baseline that he finished at the rim.

And, hey, that Bradley guy sure looked familiar, right?

Bradley signed with the Lakers after the Warriors waived him last week and drew the assignment guarding Curry in the fourth quarter, despite coach Frank Vogel saying beforehand he didn’t expect Bradley to play against his former team.

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