DeRozan debuts as a Spur, James as a Laker as new eras open
A new era of San Antonio basketball has begun, with DeMar DeRozan in the lineup and some longtime legends elsewhere.
With an offseason of change behind them, the Spurs opened exhibition play Sunday with a 104-100 victory over the Miami Heat.
The third night of NBA preseason action was the first for LeBron James in a Lakers uniform. He scored nine in 15 minutes of the Lakers’ 124-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets in San Diego.
The five-game schedule began in San Antonio, where DeRozan started and scored seven points in 18 minutes of his first game since the Spurs acquired him from Toronto in the trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors. With Leonard traded, Tony Parker signing in Charlotte and Manu Ginobili retiring, it was a far more eventful offseason than usual in San Antonio.
But it was a good start for the new pieces. Jakob Poeltl, who came with DeRozan from the Raptors, had six points and 10 rebounds.
Hassan Whiteside had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat.
SPURS 104, HEAT 100
Rudy Gay led San Antonio with 13 points, making all three 3-pointers and 5-of-6 shots in 14 minutes. LaMarcus Aldridge added 10 points.
HEAT: Dwyane Wade began his final preseason by coming off the bench for 10 points in 18 minutes. ... Rodney McGruder and Goran Dragic started in the backcourt, with McGruder scoring 15 points and Dragic adding 12. ... Kelly Olynyk shot 1 for 10 for four points. ... Duncan Robinson made three 3-pointers and scored 12 points in a city where a Duncan (Tim) and a Robinson (David) once starred together.
SPURS: Dejounte Murray, who replaced Parker as starting point guard last season, had eight points in 15 minutes. ... Derrick White scored 12 points. ... Davis Bertans made three 3-pointers and scored 10 points.
UP NEXT: Miami (0-1) visits Charlotte on Tuesday. San Antonio (1-0) hosts Detroit on Friday.
CELTICS 115, HORNETS 112
Kyrie Irving scored 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting and Terry Rozier had 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals for Boston.
Jayson Tatum had 16 points, including three 3-pointers, Marcus Morris made 4 of 6 from behind the arc and finished with 12 points, and Jaylen Brown scored 11. Gordon Hayward was just 1-of-7 shooting and had four points in 21 minutes for the Celtics (1-1).
Miles Bridges, picked No. 12 overall in June’s draft, made 9 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and finished with 23 points for Charlotte (1-1). Willy Hernangomez added 14 points, Malik Monk 13, including three 3s, and Kemba Walker scored 10.
CELTICS: Al Horford missed the game due to a right wrist sprain. He is expected to return against Cleveland on Tuesday. ... Hayward, who suffered a gruesome injury in the opening minutes of the regular-season opener last year, is just 3-of-14 shooting in two games this preseason. He showed some hustle, and confidence in his surgically repaired left ankle, on a chase-down block of a layup by Jeremy Lamb.
HORNETS: Tony Parker, who signed a two-year, $10 million contract with Charlotte in July after 17 seasons with San Antonio, did not play. Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller were also healthy scratches. ... Michael Kidd-Gilchrist left the game in the first half and did not return due to concussion-like symptoms.
UP NEXT: Charlotte (1-1) hosts Miami on Tuesday. Boston (1-1) hosts Cleveland on Tuesday.
BULLS 128, PELICANS 116
Antonio Blakeney, Bobby Portis and Zach LaVine scored 21 points apiece for Chicago. The trio combined to make 24 of 42 (57 percent) from the field and 14-of-14 free throws.
Jabari Parker, who signed with Chicago as a free agent in July, had 15 points but was just 5-of-14 shooting. Kris Dunn added 12 points and rookie Wendell Carter Jr. scored 11.
Frank Jackson and Jrue Holiday each scored 16 points for New Orleans. Jackson shot just 5 of 14 from the field but made 4-of-8 3-pointers. Holiday was 7-of-9 shooting with four assists.
BULLS: Lauri Markkanen did not play due to an elbow injury sustained on Thursday and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. Denzel Valentine (ankle) and Omer Asik (inflammatory arthritis) also missed the game. ... Chicago made just 4 of 18 from 3-point range but shot 49.5 percent (49 of 99) from the field. ... Cameron Payne had seven assists.
PELICANS: Julius Randle, who signed with the Pelicans as a free agent this offseason, had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists. ... Anthony Davis added 13 points, three steals and two blocks in 15 minutes. ... Nikola Mirotic (sore Achilles tendon) and Darius Miller (shoulder) did not play. ... Frank Jackson, a second-round pick out of Duke in 2017, missed all of last season due to a right foot injury.
UP NEXT: Chicago (1-0) plays at Milwaukee on Wednesday. New Orleans (0-1) visits Atlanta on Monday.
CLIPPERS 110, SYDNEY KINGS 91
Seven Los Angeles players scored in double figures, led by Tobias Harris who had 20 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Danilo Gallinari added 19 points, five assists and two blocks.
Marcin Gortat, acquired from Washington via trade for Austin Rivers in June, and Patrick Beverly each had 12 points, Montrezl Harrell scored 11 and Lou Williams and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 10 points apiece for the Clippers (1-0).
Jerome Randle led the Kings (0-1) with 25 points, Kevin Lisch scored 16 with nine rebounds and six assists and Daniel Kickert had 13 points, including three 3-pointers.
CLIPPERS: Tobias Harris, who shot a career-best 41.4 percent from 3-point range last season, made 4 of 7 from behind the arc on Sunday. ... The Clippers had 31 assists on 41 field goals. ... Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the No. 11 overall pick in June’s draft, added four assists, four steals and a block.
SYDNEY KINGS: Andrew Bogut, who played 14 seasons in the NBA and was the first overall selection in the 2005 draft, had eight points, eight rebounds and four assists. ... The Kings made just 12 of 21 from the free-throw line and committed 25 turnovers.
UP NEXT: The Clippers play host to Minnesota on Wednesday.
NUGGETS 124, LAKERS 107
Juan Hernangomez led Denver with 19 points and three blocks and Jamal Murray scored 18 on 8-of-12 shooting in LeBron James’ debut with the Lakers.
Nikola Jokic and Trey Lyles had 14 points apiece, Malik Beasley and Monte Morris each scored 12 and Mason Plumlee added 11 points for Denver (1-0).
JaVale McGee had 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting Brandon Ingram scored 16 for Los Angeles (0-1). Kyle Kuzma added 15 points, despite making just 4 of 13 from the field, and Lance Stephenson scored 12.
NUGGETS: Gary Harris (hamstring), Isaiah Thomas (hip), Michael Porter Jr. (back) and Jarred Vanderbilt (foot) did not play. ... Paul Millsap had six points on 1-of-5 shooting in 21 minutes.
LAKERS: LeBron James finished with nine points, three rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes. ... Rajon Rondo had 11 of L.A.’s 26 assists and grabbed seven rebounds. ... Rookie Jonathan Williams had eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes, but committed five fouls. ... Lonzo Ball (knee) and rookie Moritz Wagner (knee) did not play.
UP NEXT: The Lakers and Nuggets play again on Tuesday in Los Angeles.