Ja Morant scores 49 points in Grizzlies’ win over Rockets
HOUSTON (AP) — Ja Morant scored 49 points and hit five 3-pointers to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to a 129-122 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
Morant carried the team on a night Desmond Bane and Tyus Jones struggled. Bane made just 3 of 16 shots for 14 points and Jones was 4 for 13 with 11 points.
Morant had another great game after scoring 34 points in the opener to lead Memphis to a 115-112 overtime victory over the Knicks.
The Rockets led by 16 in the first half before the Grizzlies used a big run to start the third quarter and take the lead.
Jalen Green, the second pick in the 2021 draft, led the Rockets with 33 points. But he struggled after halftime and scored just 13 points in the second half. Alperen Sengun added 23 points for the Rockets, who fell to 0-2.
NUGGETS 128, WARRIORS 123
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Nikola Jokic had a triple-double of 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists playing with a sore right wrist he had taped, and Denver beat Golden State in a rematch of the teams’ first-round playoff series won by the Warriors in five games on their way to the title.
Stephen Curry scored 34 points with five 3-pointers after a second straight slow start shooting and has 30-point performances in his first two games. But the Warriors committed 19 turnovers that led to 30 Denver points.
Bruce Brown scored 20 points and Michael Porter Jr. and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope 17 apiece for the Nuggets, who handed the Warriors their lone loss in the preseason last Friday night.
TRAIL BLAZERS 113, SUNS 111, OT
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 41 points and Portland beat Phoenix for its second straight victory to open the season.
Anfernee Simons made a layup with 7.2 seconds left in overtime and finished with 16 points. Jusuf Nurkic had 20 points and 17 rebounds.
Devin Booker led Phoenix with 33 points. His layup gave Phoenix a 109-106 lead early in the extra period.
Lillard’s free throws with 33.9 seconds left tied it at 111. Booker missed a short jumper before Simons’ layup put Portland in front. Nurkic fouled Deandre Ayton on the other end, but Ayton missed the first, then missed the second on purpose for a failed try at a tying basket.
CELTICS 111, HEAT 104
MIAMI (AP) — Jayson Tatum scored 29 points, Jaylen Brown added 28 and Boston beat Miami in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals.
The Celtics — whose most recent trip to Miami was a Game 7 win in that playoff series — outscored Miami 42-24 from 3-point range, and improved to 2-0 under interim coach Joe Mazzulla.
Tyler Herro scored 25 points for Miami, which got 19 from Bam Adebayo, 18 from Jimmy Butler and 17 from Kyle Lowry.
Miami cut a 14-point deficit to five late, before back-to-back paint baskets by Tatum and the Celtics would hold on.
It’s Miami’s first 0-2 start since 2007-08 — meaning it’s the first in Erik Spoelstra’s 15-year run as Heat coach. Miami had been one of only two teams without an 0-2 start in the last 15 seasons; now, Portland is the only team on that list.
NETS 109, RAPTORS 105
NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant broke a tie with a 3-pointer with 56 seconds left and had 27 points to help Brooklyn beat Toronto.
Durant’s 3 gave Brooklyn a 105-102 lead. Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 30 points.
Pascal Siakam led the Raptors with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Fred VanVleet added 18 points and Scottie Barnes had 17.
VanVleet’s jumper with 38 seconds left brought the Raptors within one. But Royce O’Neale’s 3-pointer with 15 seconds left wrapped up the victory.
KNICKS 130, PISTONS 106
NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 17 points in his first home game at Madison Square Garden, Immanuel Quickley bounced back from a rough opener with 20 points and New York beat Detroit for its first victory of the season.
RJ Barrett, who also struggled with his shot in an overtime loss in Memphis in the season opener, rebounded with 18 points. Obi Toppin scored 16 points, and Julius Randle had 15.
Saddiq Bey scored 26 points for the Pistons, who beat Orlando in their opener.
JAZZ 132, TIMBERWOLVES 126, OT
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jordan Clarkson scored 29 points on 7-for-12 shooting from 3-point range to lead Utah’s rally, and the Jazz outlasted former teammate Rudy Gobert and Minnesota in overtime.
Lauri Markkanen had 24 points and 13 rebounds and got a leaner in the lane to fall with 12 seconds left in the extra period to put the Jazz up by four.
Mike Conley gave the Jazz the lead for good with a 3-pointer with 1:01 left. Gobert had a dunk foiled by a foul on Conley with 34 seconds to go, and he missed both free throws to finish with nine points and 23 rebounds.
Anthony Edwards scored 30 points for Minnesota. Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and D’Angelo Russell added 23 points including the tying jumper with 4.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
PELICANS 124, HORNETS 112
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas had 30 points and 17 rebounds and New Orleans spoiled Charlotte’s home opener with a wire-to-wire victory.
Brandon Ingram added 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Pelicans and C.J. McCollum had 21 points. Zion Williamson had a quiet night in his first game at the Spectrum Center since leading Duke to the 2019 ACC Championship, finishing with 16 points on 7-of-19 shooting.
The Pelicans opened Wednesday night with a 130-108 victory at Brooklyn.
Terry Rozier flirted with a triple-double for the Hornets with 23 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. Gordon Hayward had 26 points on 12-of-19 shooting and added seven assists.
WIZARDS 102, BULLS 100
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bradley Beal’s leaning bank shot with 7.4 seconds remaining lifted Washington past Chicago in its first home game since the star guard signed his massive new contract.
Washington blew a 17-point third-quarter lead in its home opener, but with the game tied at 100 and the shot clock running down, Beal’s shot off the glass dropped through to give the Wizards the lead. Following a timeout, DeMar DeRozan’s 3-pointer was just off the mark for Chicago.
DeRozan had 32 points to lead all scorers, and the Bulls nearly won their second straight game to start the season without Zach LaVine. Instead, it was Washington that improved to 2-0. Kyle Kuzma scored 26 points and Beal added 19.
SPURS 137, PACERS 134
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Josh Richardson scored 27 points and Devin Vassell and Josh Richardson each had 23 as San Antonio survived a frantic final minute flurry to beat Indiana.
Tyrese Haliburton led Indiana with 27 points and 12 assists. Rookie Bennedict Mathurin scored 26 points, and his attempt to force overtime with a 3-point shot at the buzzer was an airball.
The Pacers have not led in either of their games this season after finishing last season with 10 consecutive losses. Their last win came March 20.
HAWKS 108, MAGIC 98
ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young overcame a scoreless first half to finish with 25 points and 13 assists, John Collins added 23 points and 13 rebounds and Atlanta beat Orlando.
Dejounte Murray added 20 points and nine assists to help Atlanta improve to 2-0.
Cole Anthony, who missed Orlando’s season-opening loss at Detroit with an illness two nights ago, scored 17 of his 25 points in the first half.
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