NBA·NBA TIP-OFF

Warriors' Curry pleads for Brittney Griner's release as WNBA star turns 32 in Russian prison

Stephen Curry took the microphone in the middle of Golden State's championship ring ceremony Tuesday night to make an impassioned plea in support of Brittney Griner as the WNBA star spent her 32nd birthday in a Russian prison.

NBA season officially tips off as Celtics, Warriors pick up wins over 76ers, Lakers

"We hope that she comes home soon, that everybody's doing their part to get her home," said Stephen Curry during the NBA ring ceremony on Tuesday about WNBA star Brittney Griner. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Stephen Curry took the microphone in the middle of Golden State's championship ring ceremony Tuesday night to make an impassioned plea in support of Brittney Griner as the WNBA star spent her 32nd birthday in a Russian prison.

"We want to continue to use our platform and the opportunity to shout out a very special member of the basketball community. Brittney Griner's birthday is today, she's 32," Curry told the crowd on opening night before the defending champions hosted LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

"We want to continue to let her name be known and we pray ... it's been 243 days since she was wrongfully incarcerated in Russia. We hope that she comes home soon, that everybody's doing their part to get her home," said Curry.

The Warriors, long committed to social issues far beyond basketball, celebrated their fourth championship in eight years.

Griner is awaiting a hearing in Russia later this month for her appeal of a nine-year prison sentence for drug possession.

She was convicted Aug. 4 after Russian police said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow. Her defense lawyers said she had been prescribed cannabis for pain. The WNBA star said she had inadvertently packed them and had no criminal intent.

NBA season officially tips off

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 35 points and the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 126-117 on Tuesday night in the opening game of the NBA regular season.

Malcolm Brogdon added 16 points and Grant Williams finished with 15 as the defending Eastern Conference champions gave interim coach Joe Mazzulla a victory in his debut.

Mazzulla has been tasked with leading the team after Ime Udoka was suspended for the season following an investigation by a law firm that found he committed multiple violations of team policies.

Mazzulla successfully led a Celtics team that very much resembled the one that made a surprise run to the NBA Finals a season ago.

Boston opened up a 110-97 lead with 8 minutes to play and never trailed again.

James Harden scored 35 points — his most since joining the 76ers last season — including 12 of 12 from the free throw line. He also had five 3-pointers.

Joel Embiid added 26 points and 15 rebounds. Tyrese Maxey finished with 21 points.

Warriors celebrate championship, beat Lakers

Stephen Curry opened the season with 33 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and the Golden State Warriors beat LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers 123-109 on Tuesday night after receiving their championship rings in a pregame ceremony.

Jordan Poole made a pretty bounce pass to a driving Draymond Green for a layup and all seemed perfectly well with the defending champions almost two weeks after Green punched Poole at practice Oct. 5, then took a brief leave of absence from the team to work on his emotions. Poole wound up with 12 points and seven assists.

James had 31 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, while Russell Westbrook scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds after nursing a sore left hamstring. Anthony Davis added 27 points, but the Lakers couldn't keep up in another signature, runaway third quarter by reigning NBA Finals MVP Curry and Co.

Klay Thompson contributed 18 points in 20 minutes for the Warriors, who celebrated the franchise's fourth title in eight years.

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