Williamson scores 25 in return, Pelicans beat Nets 130-108
NEW YORK (AP) — Zion Williamson returned from a one-year absence with 25 points and nine rebounds, powering the New Orleans Pelicans to a season-opening 130-108 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
The No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft looked fully recovered and explosive after being sidelined with a broken right foot.
Ben Simmons also returned to action after a missed season but had the misfortune of having to cover Williamson for much of the brief time he was in the game. He fouled out early in the fourth quarter with four points, five rebounds and five assists, taking three shots.
Brandon Ingram scored 28 points and CJ McCollum had 21 for the Pelicans, who finished strong last season and opened impressively in this one. Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Kevin Durant scored 32 points but was largely a one-man show, with no other Nets player in double figures until the final two minutes of the third quarter. Patty Mills had 16 points and Kyrie Irving managed 15 on 6-for-19 shooting, going 0 for 6 from 3-point range.
SUNS 107, MAVERICKS 105
PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 28 points, Damion Lee made a go-ahead baseline jumper with 9.7 seconds left and Phoenix overcame a 22-point deficit to beat Dallas in the season opener for both teams.
Lee — who signed with the Suns in the offseason after four seasons with Golden State — hit the contested 10-foot jumper, capping a big fourth quarter that included a pair of 3-pointers.
Dallas star Luka Doncic missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
It was an impressive come-from-behind win for the Suns, who picked up a victory against the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last season in embarrassing fashion.
The Mavericks led 67-45 early in the third quarter and 93-80 with eight minutes left, but the Suns kept pushing. Cameron Payne’s layup put the Suns up 101-100 with 3:10 left for the first lead since the first quarter.
Doncic scored 35 points for the Mavericks. Christian Wood added 25 points and eight rebounds in his team debut.
BULLS 116, HEAT 108
MIAMI (AP) — DeMar DeRozan scored 28 of his 37 points in the second half, Ayo Dosunmu added 17 and short-handed Chicago beat Miami.
Nikola Vucevic had 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, and Goran Dragic added 12 off the Chicago bench.
Jimmy Butler scored 24 points and Tyler Herro added 23 for Miami, which got 22 from Max Strus and 12 from Bam Adebayo.
The Bulls played without All-Star guard Zach LaVine, citing left knee injury management. That knee had him in and out of the lineup last season and required surgery in May. LaVine played in three of Chicago’s preseason games and experienced discomfort in recent days — which Bulls coach Billy Donovan said is to be expected, given that LaVine was limited for much of the summer.
HAWKS 117, ROCKETS 107
ATLANTA (AP) — Dejounte Murray had 20 points and five steals to lead Atlanta past Houston.
Murray, acquired from San Antonio in the Hawks’ biggest move of the offseason, also dished out 11 assists. Trae Young had 23 points and 13 assists, teaming with Murray to give a glimpse of how a pair of star point guards can co-exist.
The Rockets were led by Kevin Porter Jr, with 21 points, two days after he signed an $82.5 million, four-year contract extension to help lead Houston’s major rebuilding project.
John Collins led the Hawks with 24 points and De’Andre Hunter chipped in with 22 points.
GRIZZLIES 115, KNICKS 112, OT
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Ja Morant had 34 points and nine assists, and Memphis beat New York in overtime.
Santi Aldama had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis, and Desmond Bane finished with 16 points.
Julius Randle led the Knicks with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while reserve Cam Reddish added 22 points, making 9 of 15 shots from the field. Isaiah Hartenstein finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Jalen Brunson, signed as a free agent, had 15 points and nine assists in his debut for New York.
The Grizzlies took a 115-112 lead on Tyus Jones’ 3-pointer with 47.7 seconds left. Evan Fournier had a chance to send the game into a second overtime, but his shot from the left corner was off the mark.
TIMBERWOLVES 115, THUNDER 108
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rudy Gobert had 23 points and 16 rebounds in his debut with Minnesota in a victory over Oklahoma City.
D’Angelo Russell had 20 points and Jaden McDaniels added 19 points for the Timberwolves, who turned a 16-point lead into a six-point deficit during the third quarter.
Gobert, picked up in a summer trade with Utah, stepped up on a night when Karl-Anthony Towns (12 points) and Anthony Edwards (11 points) shot a combined 6 for 27 from the floor. Jaylen Nowell, who had 13 points, put the Timberwolves ahead for good with his layup with 10:47 remaining.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 32 points and cut the lead to 105-103 with 4:04 left, but didn’t get any closer.
RAPTORS 108, CAVALIERS 105
TORONTO (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 23 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out, O.G. Anunoby scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and Toronto beat Cleveland.
Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points, and Scottie Barnes and Fred Van Vleet each had 15 as Toronto outscored Cleveland 32-21 in the final period.
Donovan Mitchell had 31 points and nine assists in his Cleveland debut, Jarrett Allen had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Evan Mobley added 14 points for the Cavaliers, who held an eight-point lead through three quarters but failed to close it out. Cedi Osman chipped in 17 points.
Cavaliers All-Star guard Darius Garland left the game in the second quarter after injuring his left eye in a collision with Raptors guard Gary Trent. Jr. Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff said Garland was bleeding from a cut inside the left eyelid after being poked in the eye by Trent with 3:51 to play in the first half. Garland did not return. He shot 2 for 8 and scored four points in 13 minutes.
PISTONS 113, MAGIC 109
DETROIT (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points in his debut with Detroit in a victory over Orlando.
Orlando’s Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick last summer, had 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists in his NBA debut.
Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 pick last year, had 18 points and 10 assists. Cunningham’s last assist set up Isaiah Stewart for a 3-pointer with 11.6 seconds left that gave the Pistons a four-point lead. Bogdanovic made two free throws with 4.7 seconds left to restore Detroit’s four-point cushion, sealing the victory.
In their first NBA games, first-round picks Jaden Ivey had 19 points and Jalen Duren had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons.
Jalen Suggs, the No. 5 pick last year, had 21 points for the Magic before fouling out with 3:47 remaining.
JAZZ 123, NUGGETS 102
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Collin Sexton scored 20 points, Lauri Markkanen added 17 and new-look Utah beat Denver.
New Jazz coach Will Hardy won his first game with a team that is rebuilding after trading cornerstones Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
Rudy Gay scored 16 points, Malik Beasley had 15 and Mike Conley, the lone returning starter, had 13 as Utah had seven players in double-figure scoring. Rookie Walker Kessler had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and the Jazz shot 50.6% from the field.
Nikola Jokic scored 27 points and Aaron Gordon had 22 for Denver.
HORNETS 129, SPURS 102
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Terry Rozier had 24 points and six teammates scored in double figures in Charlotte’s win over San Antonio.
The Spurs opened their 50th season in San Antonio inauspiciously, losing a season opener for only the third time under Gregg Popovich.
P.J. Washington had 17 points and Gordon Hayward added 15 as all five Hornets starters scored in double figures. Hornets reserve center Nick Richards had a career-high 19 points.
Keldon Johnson had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists to lead San Antonio. Jakob Poeltl and Tre Jones added 14 points each.
TRAIL BLAZERS 113, KINGS 108
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Jerami Grant converted a three-point play with 50.4 seconds to play to give Portland the lead and the Trail Blazers spoiled Mike Brown’s coaching debut in Sacramento.
Grant scored 23 points to lead Portland and Anfernee Simons added 22. Damian Lillard scored 20 in his first game back from an abdominal injury that had sidelined him since January.
The Kings came into the season with optimism that the hiring of Brown could help end an NBA-record 16-season playoff drought. But they were dealt a loss in the opener despite 33 points from De’Aaron Fox and and 23 from Kevin Huerter in his Kings debut.
WIZARDS 114, PACERS 107
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bradley Beal scored 23 points and Kyle Kuzma added 20 as Washington led wire to wire and beat rebuilding Indiana.
Kristaps Porzingis had 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Wizards won their second straight season opener for the first time since 2004-05.
Indiana was led by Tyrese Haliburton’s 26 points and rookie Bennedict Mathurin’s 19. But after Indiana gave up 12 of the first 18 points, Washington kept the Pacers mostly out of reach.
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