Clippers edges Lakers in Ball's debut

Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers Battle to Open NBA Season

Johnson, co-owner of the Dodgers and team president of the Lakers, was torn about where to be on this big night for Los Angeles sports with the Dodgers playing in Chicago against the Chicago Cubs and the Lakers and LA Clippers opening the National Basketball Association season against each other. He had about 40 friends and family members in the stands, including his voluble father, LaVar.

Though the Clippers enter the game as the overwhelming favourites, the young Lakers team will be hungry to make a statement in front of their home fans - in what would be the start of a new era. Beverley reveled in the matchup, taunting Ball and the Lakers faithful, even stalking the rookie during dead balls.

Beverley, who joined the Clippers in Paul's trade to the Rockets, had 10 points while introducing Ball to high-level National Basketball Association defense.

"This is the moment I've been waiting for - to go the World Series", Johnson said as he kept looking up at the big screen. "I told him after the game that due to all the riffraff his Dad brings, that he's going to get a lot of people coming at him". "I want to go to the World Series in the worst way, and then I got my first [Lakers] game this season and really with a team that [general manager] Rob [Pelinka] and I put together". But what a better way to start him off.

"Look, I can't even imagine being him right now", Johnson said.

"He's going to be a great talent, but he has to go through the tough times", Beverley said.

Jordan Clarkson (18/2/2) had a strong night off the bench and Larry Nance Jr.

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"I thought we let the fact that we weren't making shots affect our overall energy", Walton said.

DeAndre Jordan (14/24/1) had a big double-double and debutants Lou Williams (12/3/6), Danilo Gallinari (11/5/3) and Patrick Beverley (10/3/1) hit double figures. A team that has been vocal about its aspirations to run up and down the floor, the Lakers managed only eight fast-break points.

Miles had 22 points, while Jonas Valanciunas had 23. Delon Wright added 13 points with DeMar DeRozan contributing 11.

The Raptors were 13 of 29 from long range and had 26 assists on 39 baskets. Miles was 6 for 9 from 3-point range and had five rebounds.

Robin Lopez scored 18 points and nabbed eight rebounds for the Bulls.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said forward Nikola Mirotic is doing OK but is still sore two days after suffering facial fractures and a concussion in a practice fight with teammate Bobby Portis.

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