Is there a little more spring in your step this morning? Does everything feel just a little less heavy? Is the world generally brighter? That's probably because the NBA season got started last night, and any time there is meaningful basketball in the universe, everything gets better. The NBA kicked off on Tuesday night (October 26) with a trio of great games. The big match-up boasted the regular season debut of the new "Big Three" in Miami as the Heat took on the Boston Celtics. Though LeBron James dropped in 31 points (and went on a very LeBron-esque tear in the second half), the Heat couldn't overcome the sharp shooting of Ray Allen and the swarming, aggressive defense of Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and new Celtic Shaquille O'Neal. Boston ended up taking the victory on their home court in a sloppy game by a score of 88-80.
In Portland, the Trail Blazers put down the visiting Phoenix Suns by a score of 106-92. It represented another great breakout performance for Trail Blazers star Brandon Roy, who scored 24 points and added six assists to his team's effort. The game was a microcosm of two teams in transition, as the Blazers are on their way to becoming a top-tier, elite power in the league while the aging Suns seem to be on the last fumes of the Steve Nash era.
But the real headline-grabber of the night (and also the most thrilling game) was the throwdown between the Lakers and the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles. The teams went blow-for-blow for most of the game, and though the Rockets looked like they were in control at the end of the game, but a bit of late-game heroics courtesy of new Laker Steve Blake put the defending champions over the top by a score of 112-110. Kobe Bryant had a typical night (27 points, seven assists) and managed to overcome some strong performances from Rockets sharpshooter Shannon Brown.
Before the game, the Lakers raised their championship banner (the 16th in the franchise's history) and received their blingtastic championship rings. In typical Lakers fashion, plenty of stars were in attendance, including Denzel Washington, Snoop Dogg, David Beckham, Jaden Smith and Justin Bieber (who showed off one of the rings himself).