The first Thursday Night of the NBA season delivered with four games, including the Chicago Bulls making a successful debut in the Butler-Rondo-Wade era, Kawhi Leonard proclaiming his MVP intentions with another San Antonio Spurs win, and a pretty good hometown debut for Dwight Howard on the Atlanta Hawks.
Washington Wizards 99 Atlanta Hawks 114: The new-ish Hawks looked good in their first game this season, with Paul Millsap taking care of most things, scoring 28 points to go with 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Dwight Howard scored 11 and grabbed 19 rebounds in his debut for the team, while Dennis Schroder, finally a starting PG, added 14 points. Both John Wall and Bradley Beal disappointed, and Washington had Markieff Morris with 22 points to lead them.
Boston Celtics 99 Chicago Bulls 105: The Celtics didn’t look too sharp on back-to-back nights, getting destroyed on the boards by the Bulls, who ad 18 offensive rebounds to just 3 by the Celtics, eliminating their poor shooting. Jimmy Butler led the way with 25 points and an excited Dwyane Wade finished with 22. Rajon Rondo scored 4 with 9 assists on 1-for-9 shooting, and Taj Gibson finished with 18 points. Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 25 points.
San Antonio Spurs 102 Sacramento Kings 94: The Spurs only managed to break free of the Kings in the final minutes, but it was another masterful two-way display by Kawhi Leonard, scoring 30 points and finishing with 5 steals, more aggressive than ever as he had 7-for-7 from the line. DeMarcus Cousins scored an impressive 37 points for the Kings, but there was very little from anyone else.
Los Angeles Clippers 114 Portland Trail Blazers 106: A nice little duel between Chris Paul and Damian Lillard. Lillard outscored him 29 to 27, but Paul won the game with a big three and a lot of help from Blake Griffin, who also had 27. The Clippers got big help from Marreese Speights off the bench, who like Jamal Crawford scored 15 points. Mo Harkless of all people was the second in command for the Blazers, scoring 23.
Eastern Conference Standings
|15||New York Knicks||0||1||.000||1.0||1|
Western Conference Standings
|1||San Antonio Spurs||2||0||1.000||–||2|
|2||Oklahoma City Thunder||1||0||1.000||0.5||1|
|3||Los Angeles Clippers||1||0||1.000||0.5||1|
|4||Los Angeles Lakers||1||0||1.000||0.5||1|
|8||Portland Trail Blazers||1||1||.500||1.0||2|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||0||1||.000||1.5||1|
|15||Golden State Warriors||0||1||.000||1.5||1|