ISTANBUL – Defending champion Denver Nuggets won the season opener with a 119 -107 win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
The Nuggets led the first quarter 34-20, but the Lakers fought in the second period, scoring 34 points at the Ball Arena.
Denver had a 63-54 lead before the break and controlled the remainder of the game.
Nikola Jokic recorded a triple-double to help the Nuggets to victory with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
"I think we controlled the game the whole time," Jokic said after the game.
Jamal Murray produced 21 points and six assists in the season-opener win.
"I mean, I always want to be on the floor, especially when you got an opportunity to win a game or feel like you can make an impact," Murray said.
Michael Porter Jr. posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 20 points.
LeBron James scored 21 points, eight rebounds, and five points for the losing side, but his effort was not enough to win the game.
Taurean Prince scored 18 points, while Anthony Davis helped his team with 17.
In a pregame ceremony, the Nuggets received their gold, diamond-encrusted championship rings - featuring a mini championship banner that rolls out from one side.
"It's only right since last season ended in Denver, makes sense that this season starts in Denver, too," Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon said.
"Thank you for coming out and supporting tonight and all season long on our road to repeat," he added.
Suns beat Warriors
Phoenix Suns defeated Golden State Warriors with a 108-104 score at Chase Center.
Devin Booker was the game's highest scorer with 32 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Durant made a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Josh Okogie scored 17 points for the winning side.
Stephen Curry scored 27 points and Klay Thompson finished with 15 points for the Warriors. (Anadolu)