Champs down! Lakers beaten by Clippers in season opener

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered a defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers following the return of the NBA.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, is defended by Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Lakers, who are the reigning champions after securing their 17th hold on the title, went down 116-106 to their neighbours.

The Clippers were led by Paul George who scored 33 points, 26 of which came on the second half. Kahwi Leonard added 26 points to the team’s total to beat the Lakers in the season opener for the second straight year.

LeBron James scored 22 points for the Lakers while Anthony Davis contributed 18 points, just 72 days after they defeated the Miami Heat for the championship.

It’s the shortest offseason ever for the NBA, which had its schedule pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.