Basketball: Bulls get past Cavaliers in thrilling opening-night clash, Warriors also triumph

Chicago Bulls' forward Pau Gasol (right) reaching out to block a layup attempt by Cleveland Cavaliers' forward Lebron James at the United Centre in Chicago on Oct 27, 2015.
Chicago Bulls' forward Pau Gasol (right) reaching out to block a layup attempt by Cleveland Cavaliers' forward Lebron James at the United Centre in Chicago on Oct 27, 2015.PHOTO: EPA

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Chicago Bulls upstaged LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, and league MVP Stephen Curry got his new campaign off to an emphatic start as the 2015-16 NBA season got under way.

With President Barack Obama among a delighted Chicago crowd, the Bulls toppled the Cavaliers 97-95 on Tuesday in a thrilling opening-night duel.

Derrick Rose finished with 18 points and five assists as four of the Bulls' five starters finished in double figures.

"I love our effort tonight. Who knows how good this team can be?" said Bulls guard Rose.

"My team-mates allowed me to play through my mistakes."

Curry became the first reigning MVP in history to score 40 or more points on opening night as the Golden State Warriors began their title defence by thumping the New Orleans Pelicans 111-95.

In the other contest, the Detroit Pistons dumped the Atlanta Hawks 106-94.