Damian Lillard did not take long to prove why he was such a hot commodity over the offseason, scoring 39 points in his debut for Milwaukee to lead the Bucks over the Philadelphia 76ers 118-117.
After spending 11 years as a Portland Trail Blazer, Lillard slipped seamlessly into his new surroundings as he sparked a game-clinching run down the stretch.
The Bucks led by as much as 19 earlier in the game, but Philadelphia were able to regroup to put their nose in front early in the fourth quarter.
However, Lillard took it upon himself to restore Milwaukee’s advantage, a crucial three kickstarting an 11-0 run that gave the Bucks a nine-point lead with just under three minutes remaining.
Philadelphia again rallied to bring the margin back to two, but another three and two clutch free throws from Lillard was ultimately enough to clinch the win for the hosts.
Lillard’s 39 points was the most for any player in their Bucks debut, while Giannis Antetokounmpo added 23 points and 13 rebounds to become the franchise’s career leader in made field goals.
Tyrese Maxey’s 31 points led the way for Philadelphia in the absence of James Harden.
Meanwhile, LeBron James got the better of Kevin Durant as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns 100-95.
Durant did everything he could to get the Suns over the line, scoring 39 points from 39 minutes on the floor.
But the Lakers stormed home in the fourth quarter, overturning a 12-point deficit to record their first win of the season.
James scored 21 for the Lakers to go along with 30 from Anthony Davis.