There’s lots of NBA buzz in Los Angeles this year, with both the Lakers and the Clippers adding star players during the off-season and expected to contend. So the teams’ opening-night matchup was a strong local draw Tuesday night..
Despite going against the end of a tight World Series Game 1, the second game of the net’s Opening Night NBA doubleheader averaged 3.6 million viewers — up 32% from last year’s comparable game window — and drew a 9.7 rating in the L.A. market. That marks the WarnerMedia outlet’s best regular-season number in Los Angeles in six years.
The home-team Clippers beat the LeBron James-led Lakers, 112-102, at Staples Center. It was the first matchup of new additions Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers and Anthony Davis of the Lakers.
Despite it being a Clippers home game, new Clippers addition Kawhi Leonard was heavily booed by the crowd of Lakers fans attending. They apparently haven’t forgotten that he snubbed the team and instead opted to sign with the Lakers cross-town rivals. It was a reminder that Los Angeles remains a Lakers town, with Leonard even being booed at an LA Rams game earlier this year.
Despite the scorn, Leonard had the last word. He racked up a line of 30 points, six rebounds, and five assists on a night where second Clippers star Paul George was out. George is recovering from a shoulder injury and likely misses the first ten games of the season.