Sights and sounds from opening night of NBA’s restart

Members of the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz tip off the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday. (Ashley Landis/AP)

After 141 days, the NBA season made its long-awaited return at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, with the New Orleans Pelicans taking on the Utah Jazz before the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers squared off in a potential Western Conference Finals preview.

The league had to make many changes ahead of opening night, including a wider sideline border, physically distanced team benches and coverings for officials’ whistles. Despite the differences, the players were certainly excited to get back on the court.

Here are some of the best sights and sounds from the NBA restart, including a chilling opening montage on “Black Lives Matter” narrated by Meek Mill, and the Pelicans and Jazz taking a knee in solidarity during the national anthem.

LeBron hammers off the rust

LeBron James provided an early highlight with an impressive drive and dunk to make Kawhi Leonard and the rest of the Clippers look like pylons.

Zion throws down

It didn’t take long for one of the league’s top young stars to make an impact as Zion Williamson made a statement in his return to the court.

NBA players take in the action

With only four teams playing on opening night, the rest of the players decided to spend their downtime taking in some of the action, including Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry and former teammate DeMar DeRozan.

“Fans” provide some comedic relief

Many also couldn’t help but poke some fun at the league’s attempt to recreate fans in the stands.

Down to the wire

It was only a seeding game, but Lakers vs. Clippers was ripe with playoff intensity. With the game on the line, James answered a clutch Paul George three-pointer with a very unique game-winning basket.

Sign us up for seven games between these two juggernauts.

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