Zion scores 22 in NBA debut; Spurs beat Pelicans 121-117
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Zion Williamson capped his long-awaited NBA debut by scoring 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and stirring the crowd into a frenzy — only to see his team come up short.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 14 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan added 20 points, and the San Antonio Spurs withstood Williamson’s late surge for a 121-117 victory over New Orleans on Wednesday night.
After spending the past three months rehabilitating from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, Williamson struggled to find his shot during the first three quarters, during which he played a little less than 12 minutes. When the fourth quarter began, he had just five points, four rebounds, an assist and four turnovers.
But when Williamson found himself open for a straight-on 3 with about nine minutes to go, he let it fly and it went down. He followed that with a torrid three-minute stretch in which he laid in an alley-oop lob, put back a missed shot with a reverse layup and hit three more 3s. He finished the surge with a free throw as the jubilant crowd chanted, “M-V-P!” He was subbed out shortly after.
New Orleans got as close as 119-117 on Josh Hart’s 3, but Aldridge responded with two free throws and the Spurs did not give up another basket.
Brandon Ingram scored 22 for New Orleans but missed 16 of 22 shots, while Lonzo Ball had 14 points and 12 assists.
HAWKS 102, CLIPPERS 95
ATLANTA (AP) — John Collins scored 33 points and got a big assist from two-way player Brandon Goodwin as Atlanta, playing without Trae Young, rallied from a 21-point deficit to stun the short-handed Clippers.
Goodwin chipped in with 19 points — all in the fourth quarter — and dished off to De’Andre Hunter in the corner for a 3-pointer that gave the Hawks a 99-93 lead with 1:43 remaining.
The Clippers seemingly seized control with a 20-0 run in the first quarter, despite missing starters Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverly.
Montrezl Harrell led Los Angeles with 30 points, but his struggles at the foul line (6 of 13) gave the Hawks a chance to rally.
The Hawks rallied with a barrage of 3-pointers, hitting 10 of 23 over the final two quarters after going 1 of 12 in the first half. Goodwin and Collins combined for 27 of the team’s 33 points in the final period. Collins also had 16 rebounds.
RAPTORS 107, 76ERS 95
TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 18 points and 15 rebounds, Fred VanVleet scored 22 and Toronto extended its winning streak to five games with a win over Philadelphia.
Norman Powell added 18 points, Marc Gasol shot 7 for 7 and finished with 17 points, and Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka each scored 16 as the Raptors won their 15th straight home meeting with the 76ers.
Ben Simmons had 17 points, 10 rebounds and eights assists for the 76ers, narrowly missing his second straight triple-double. Simmons, however, had just two points and one rebound in the fourth quarter as Philadelphia’s four-game winning streak was snapped.
Tobias Harris scored 22 points, Furkan Korkmaz had 17 and Matisse Thybulle 13 for the 76ers.
LAKERS 100, KNICKS 92
NEW YORK (AP) — LeBron James scored 19 of his 21 points to quickly cut into Kobe Bryant’s shrinking lead over him for the No. 3 scoring spot in NBA history, and Los Angeles beat the Knicks.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 28 points in his second game back after a five-game absence, after the Western Conference leaders were handed their worst loss of the season Monday in his return.
James’ quiet second half left him with 33,599 points, 44 behind Bryant.
That keeps James in good shape to catch the former Lakers star Saturday at Philadelphia, where the five-time NBA champion was born. Los Angeles has a game in between Thursday in Brooklyn.
Marcus Morris scored 20 points and Damyean Dotson had 17 for the Knicks.
HEAT 134, WIZARDS 129, OT
MIAMI (AP) — Tyler Herro scored 25 points, Jimmy Butler scored nine of his 24 points in overtime and Miami wasted a 21-point lead before beating Washington.
Butler also had 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, who improved to 20-1 at home and 8-0 in overtime this season. Goran Dragic had 22 points and 10 assists, Kendrick Nunn scored 14 points and Duncan Robinson finished with 13 for the Heat.
Bradley Beal had a game-high 38 points for Washington on 16-for-24 shooting. Davis Bertans scored 24, Isaiah Thomas and Jordan McRae each had 14 and Ian Mahinmi scored 10 for the Wizards.
CELTICS 119, GRIZZLIES 95
BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 23 points before leaving the game in the third quarter with a groin injury as Boston routed Memphis.
Daniel Theis had 14 points, Enes Kanter finished with 13 points and eight rebounds to help Boston win its second straight. Memphis has lost two in a row since posting a season-high, seven-game win streak.
Jonas Valanciunas led the Grizzlies with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Solomon Hill each added 13 points.
THUNDER 120, MAGIC 114
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Dennis Schroder scored 31 points and Oklahoma City shot 60.5% against one of the NBA’s better defenses and beat Orlando.
Schroder came off the bench with 13-for-18 shooting and added nine assists for the Thunder, who won for the eighth time in nine road games.
Chris Paul added 19 points and six assists for Oklahoma City, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Terrence Ross scored 26 points and Nikola Vucevic added 24 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando, which had allowed an NBA-low 103.9 points per game.
ROCKETS 121, NUGGETS 105
HOUSTON (AP) — Russell Westbrook had 28 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists, James Harden added 27 points and Houston snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over short-handed Denver.
Harden scored 20 points in the first half. He connected on 13 of 15 from the free throw line. Houston shot 47%, including 13 of 29 on 3-pointers.
Eric Gordon scored 25 points on 6-of-8 shooting on 3-pointers, and Clint Capela had 14 points and 11 rebounds to help Houston win its eighth straight against the Nuggets in Houston.
Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets — down five players, including three starters — with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his eighth triple-double of the season. Jerami Grant added 17 points and seven rebounds, and Torrey Craig had 14 points and seven rebounds.
PACERS 112, SUNS 87
PHOENIX (AP) — T.J. Warren scored 25 points in his return to Phoenix, Domantas Sabonis added 24 and Indiana rolled past the Suns.
Warren was playing his first game against the Suns after being traded from Phoenix to Indiana during the offseason. The sixth-year forward — who played his first five years with the Suns — shot 11 of 18 from the field.
Sabonis added 13 rebounds. The Pacers have won six of seven and stretched their winning streak against the Suns to six.
Phoenix never led and trailed by 25 by midway through the third quarter
Kelly Oubre Jr. led Phoenix with 17 points and nine rebounds. Devin Booker added 16 points.
PISTONS 127, KINGS 106
DETROIT (AP) — Derrick Rose scored 22 points and Reggie Jackson added 22 points in his return to lineup, as Detroit beat Sacramento and dealt the Kings their sixth straight loss.
Jackson missed 42 games since leaving the second game of the season with a back injury. He made a floater on his first attempt and played well in his 19 minutes off the bench, shooting 8 of 14 and handling out four assists.
Rose scored 20 or more points for the 10th straight game, tying the career high he set in 2010-11, his MVP season in Chicago. He also eclipsed 11,000 career points and added 11 assists.
Christian Wood scored 23 points, and Svi Mykhailiuk added 13 points off the bench, the 11th time in 12 games that he’s scored in double figures.
De’Aaron Fox had 22 points, and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 19 points for the Kings, who shot 12 of 23 from the line (52.2%).
BULLS 117, TIMBERWOLVES 110
CHICAGO (AP) — Zach LaVine scored 25 points, Lauri Markkanen added 21 and Chicago overcame a big performance by Karl-Anthony Towns to beat Minnesota.
LaVine had seven points in the final 2:25 to help Chicago pull out the win after letting a 19-point lead in the second quarter slip away.
His 3-pointer with 1:23 remaining put the Bulls ahead for good at 111-108. LaVine then hit two free throws with 26 seconds left. Kris Dunn sank four more foul shots and the Bulls came out on top after losing nine of 12.
Towns scored a season-high 40 points, but the Timberwolves lost their seventh straight.
JAZZ 129, WARRIORS 96
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rudy Gobert had 22 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots, and Donovan Mitchell scored 23 to lead Utah past Golden State.
D’Angelo Russell overcame a slow start to score 26 points for the Warriors, who lost for the 11th time in 12 games and couldn’t build any momentum at Chase Center after ending a five-game home losing streak with Saturday’s victory over Orlando.
Marquese Chriss of the Warriors and Utah’s Tony Bradley were ejected with 21.9 seconds left after they jawed at each other.
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