Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts during the first half against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on October 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP
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The new-look Los Angeles Lakers, with Kobe Bryant retired and coach Luke Walton at the helm, opened their NBA season with a 120-114 victory over the Houston Rockets Wednesday.D'Angelo Russell scored 20 points and Julius Randle added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Lakers, who overcame James Harden's 34 points and career-high 17 assists for Houston -- who lost in former Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni's first game in charge of the Rockets.Two free throws from Clarkson lifted the Lakers to a 108-104 lead with 6:41 to play.Two Russell free throws boosted the Lakers to a 113-112 lead with 2:47 remaining and the hosts wouldn't trail from there.Hassan Whiteside scored 18 points, pulled down 14 rebounds and blocked four shots.The Oklahoma City Thunder, also adjusting to the departure of a star after Kevin Durant signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors, leaned on Russell Westbrook in a 103-97 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
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