The biggest offseason story line in the NBA was about Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joining the Clippers and LeBron James and Anthony Davis teaming up with the Lakers.
But in their first meeting this season, it was the Clippers' heralded bench that once again proved to be the difference in a 112-102 victory.
Leonard had 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals in his first game with the Clippers, and Anthony Davis tallied 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his first game for the Lakers.
But in a battle of stars, the Clippers bench showed why they are the favorites to win the NBA title.
Lou Williams had 21 points and seven assists, Montrezl Harrell had 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Jeff Green tallied 12 points and six rebounds and Maurice Harkless added 10 points and four steals.
The Clippers bench outscored the Lakers 60-19.
James had 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assist but also committed five turnovers and shot just 7-for-19 from the field.
Danny Green, who came to the Lakers in the offseason after winning a title for the Raptors, scored 28 points and made 7 of 9 three-pointers.
Toronto 130, New Orleans 122 (OT): Fred VanVleet scored a career-high 34 points, Pascal Siakam fouled out with 34 points and 18 rebounds, and the defending champion Raptors beat the Pelicans 130-122 in overtime in the NBA's season-opening game.
Kyle Lowry scored 22 points, including a pair of free throws that put Toronto in the lead for good, and Serge Ibaka had 13 as the Raptors won their seventh straight season opener and posted their eighth win in nine meetings with the Pelicans.
Before the game, the Raptors received the biggest championship rings in NBA history and unfurled a banner celebrating their six-game triumph over Golden State last June.
The Raptors lost NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers in free agency, and also saw guard Danny Green leave for the Lakers.