By Denzel Jed Gaddi

The defending conference champions started their crusade with a roaring debut.

The Boston Celtics relied on their dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to take the win over the Philadelphia 76ers, 126-117, as the Golden State Warriors mauled the Los Angeles Lakers, 123-109, in the National Basketball Association’s season opener, Wednesday (PhST).

Photo Courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle

Fitting tribute.

Before the start of the game, the Celtics organization commemorated the death of 11-time champion Bill Russell through video tributes.

“He was a true champion on and off the floor, and our gratitude is endless,” Brown said.

The franchise's dynamic duo did not disappoint as Tatum erupted with 35 points on a 60% clip and 12 rebounds, while Brown finished with 35 points on 58% shooting and two steals. 

James Harden put pressure on the Celtics early, converting three of four field goal attempts while sinking eight free throws in the process. The Sixers’ vaunted defense held last season’s 7th best offensive team to a rough 38% shooting in the first quarter, 29-24. The clinic was led by the reigning defensive player of the year, Marcus Smart. 

The multiple stops fueled the hot-shooting Tatum, igniting an 8-0 run, showing as much as 12 heading into the fourth.

The defending eastern conference champions never surrendered the lead from there. Brown's offensive show in the fourth by piling up fourteen points in the quarter alone.

On Saturday, October 22 at the FTX Arena, the Boston Celtics are scheduled to play the Miami Heat.

Two wins for the Warriors.

After receiving their championship rings during the awarding ceremony, the Warriors wasted no time imposing their dominance on the new-look Lakers squad.

Stephen Curry had a monster game with 33 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals, aided by balanced scoring from Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole, who had 20, 18, and 12 points, respectively.

In the opening salvo, Anthony Davis’ aggressiveness in the paint sparked an early going for him as he chirped in 10 points in the quarter alone. Jordan Poole, however, came out hungry, leading the team in the first quarter after scoring eight.

The reigning Finals MVP buckled down to work in the second quarter, holding off the Lakers at the end of the half, 64-57.

The defending champions ranked first last year in average third-quarter margin and would not be denied as they began a scorching 21-2 run that built a 91-64 edge with a minute left in the third.

The Lakers never had the chance to make a comeback, finishing the game in a blowout.

At the Chase Center on October 22, the Warriors will play host to the Denver Nuggets.

Edited by Quian Vencel Galut