Giannis and Zubac open the season with big wins

2022-10-21T10:59:53+00:00 2022-10-21T13:15:38+00:00.

Aris Barkas

21/Oct/22 10:59

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks prevailed over the Sixers, while the Clippers beat the Lakers with Kawhi Leonard back in action

By Eurohoops teams/

In two marquee matchups, the Bucks of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the LA Clippers with Ivica Zubac at center started the NBA season on a high note.

Wesley Matthews hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 23.8 seconds left, and Antetokounmpo had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a 90-88 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

“If the ball gets in Wes’ hands, you’re pretty freaking confident the ball is going in,” Brook Lopez said.

Lopez scored 17 points as the Bucks, who went 0-5 in the preseason, won their season opener after Matthews surprised the Sixers on the long 3. James Harden, who scored 31 and rallied the Sixers in the fourth, missed a jumper that could have won the game.

“It was a good look, it wasn’t a great look,” Harden said.

Kawhi Leonard had 14 points and seven rebounds in his first game in 16 months, Croatian Ivica Zubac added also 14 points and 17 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers opened a season of sky-high expectations with a 103-97 victory over the Lakers.

Paul George scored 15 points and John Wall added 15 in his debut for the Clippers, who held on down the stretch to beat their more pedigreed Los Angeles rivals for the eighth consecutive time.

Leonard came off the bench for the first time since 2013 and played 21 minutes in his first game since he tore a ligament in his right knee in a playoff game in June 2021.

Anthony Davis scored 25 points despite reduced mobility after a mid-game fall, while LeBron James had 20 points and 10 rebounds in the 20th home opener of his career.

Both the Lakers and the Sixers dropped to 0-2 after those results.

Photo credit: Gettyimages