Blake Griffin scored 27 points and pulled down 13 rebounds Thursday night, in the LA Clippers’ season-opening 114-106 road win against the Trailblazers.

It was the first time Chris Paul returned to Portland since breaking his right hand in Game 4 of the Playoffs, and the All-Star point guard was able to leave the gym with a smile on his face.

Both Paul and Griffin hope to leave last season’s bitter disappointments behind in 2016-17.

Per the OC Register:

Instead of walking out of the arena, head down, with his family, Paul introduced his mother to Chance the Rapper, one of his favorite hip-hop artists. Instead of walking out silently, Paul chatted, exchanged numbers and watched as Chance (ultralight) beamed when Paul told him, coincidentally, that he was wearing Chance’s signature “3” baseball hat.

 

Paul made big jumpers. Blake Griffin, who like Paul, had his season cut short last spring, hit big free throws. And, as trouble mounted, they dug in and didn’t get pushed over. […] “It’s the spirit and the energy,” Paul said of his team. “…We’ve been through the highs and lows. We’ve been through everything. Enough is enough.”

 

Paul, normally mild-mannered and guarded in interviews, almost – almost – dropped an F-bomb postgame. […] “We’ve been through so much individually and together and stuff like that, we just got to … you know the word … the world. Everybody. Let’s just hoop.”