With 14 games, the NBA had it’s real opening night a day late, as the Miami Heat lost for the first time this season to the surprising Philadelphia 76ers, while the Dwight Howard project in Houston for the Rockets began quite well, beating the Charlotte Bobcats without too many problems.
The Los Angeles Lakers struggled to recreate the magic of their win over the Clippers, getting beat by 31 points against the Golden State Warriors. Another intriguing start happened in Detroit, where the Pistons got a strong performance from Greg Monroe en route to a win over the Washington Wizards.
Brooklyn Nets 94 Cleveland Cavaliers 98: A bad start for the ambitious and ongoing project in Brooklyn, as Deron Williams left the game in the third quarter with more ankle problems. Brook Lopez had a strong start to the season with 21 points, but an impressive performance from Tristan Thompson, scoring 18 points and adding 9 rebounds, while Andrew Bynum didn’t add much from the bench, was enough to secure the win.
Miami Heat 110 Philadelphia 76ers 114: Playing without Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat struggled on back-to-back nights. They fell behind by 19 in the first quarter only to open a nine point lead before the fourth, but couldn’t keep up with Michael Carter-Williams (22 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists and 9 steals), Spencer Hawes (24 points) and Even Turner (26 points). LeBron James scored 25 points, adding 13 assists, for the Heat.
Boston Celtics 87 Toronto Raptors 93: Brad Stevens lost on his debut as Celtics coach, finding it almost impossible to stop the Raptors on the offensive glass. Rudy Gay led the way with 19 points, while Tyler Hansbrough grabbed 12 rebounds, including 5 on offense. Jeff Green led the scoring for the Celtics with 25 points.
Washington Wizards 102 Detroit Pistons 113: A very impressive start for the Pistons on their new way with Josh Smith, getting all starting players in double figures, led by Greg Monroe with 24 points and 16 rebounds, while Smith had a 19-5-5 performance. The Wizards used Macin Gortat off the bench after his arrival via trade and were led by Trevor Ariza with 28 points.
Milwaukee Bucks 82 New York Knicks 90: The Knicks blew a 25-point lead but still managed to pull through, led by Carmelo Anthony, scoring 19 points and adding 10 rebounds, supported by Raymond Felton (18 points) and Iman Shumpert (16 points).
Charlotte Bobcats 83 Houston Rockets 96: A successful debut for Dwight Howard, scoring 17 points and bringing down 26 rebounds, and James Harden as always led the scoring with 21 points. Jeremy Lin came off the bench but played 31 minutes, scoring 16 points. Al Jefferson had a less successful debut on the other end, scoring 13 points and hitting only 6-of-19 from the field.
Orlando Magic 115 Minnesota Timberwolves 120: A huge night for Kevin Love, which included hitting a three pointer to send the game into overtime. He finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds, while Ricky Rubio struggled with his shooting, but still finished with 13 points and 11 assists. Kevin Martin had a strong debut with 23 points. The Magic got strong performances from Arron Afflalo (28 points) and Nikola Vucevic (22 points), but are now 0-2.
Indiana Pacers 95 New Orleans Pelcians 90: The Pacers win for the second time this season, getting a great performance from their perimeter players, as Paul George leads the way with 32 points, getting a lot of help from George Hill (19 points) and Lance Stephenson, adding 16. The Pelicans had three players with 20 points or more (Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon) but got nothing from their bench, including only 4 points from Tyreke Evans.
Atlanta Hawks 109 Dallas Mavericks 118: Monta Ellis scored 32 points on his Mavs debut which was a very impressive offensive performance for the once again re-furnished team. Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and Vince Carter helped from the bench with 21. The Hawks had Paul Millsap (20 points) and Jeff Teague (24 points) show up, but a weak night from Al Horford and their bench kept them at a distance for most of the night.
Memphis Grizzlies 94 San Antonio Spurs 101: A win is nice, but Tim Duncan left the game with an injury which means plenty of rest for him early on. The Spurs got 43 points from their bench, led by Boris Diaw, scoring 14. The Grizzlies once again struggled offensively against the Spurs, as Zach Randolph was limited to only 2 points on 1-of-6 from the field.
Oklahoma City Thunder 101 Utah Jazz 98: Nothing new under the sun for the Oklahoma City Thunder, getting 42 points from Kevin Durant and not much else from the rest. The Utah Jazz are in for a rough season with a young squad, led by 24 points from Alec Burks coming off the bench, showing he might be the one who deserves to start at point guard.
Portland Trail Blazers 91 Phoenix Suns 104: One of the surprised on opening night 2.0, as the Suns got an impressive performance from their backcourt: Goran Dragic and Eric Bledose combined for 48 points, doing well without a center in the lineup. The Blazers enjoyed a strong performance from Lillard (32 points) and Aldridge (28), but got nothing from their bench or Nicolas Batum.
Denver Nuggets 88 Sacramento Kings 90: While the Nuggets didn’t make a too promising debut (still with Gallinari) with no George Karl, the Kings got some very promising signs from DeMarcus Cousins, showing that this might be the year he turns things around, finishing with a 30-14 double double, aided by a strong debut for Grievis Vasquez with 17 points.
Los Angeles Lakers 94 Golden State Warriors 125: The one sided win of the night, as the Warriors blew by the Lakers right from the start. Klay Thompson simply couldn’t miss, finishing with 38 points and 15-of-19 from the field, aided by a strong performance from David Lee, enjoying the Nash-less Lakers’ soft defense, adding 24 points. The Lakers once again mostly relied on their bench, led by Xavier Henry, scoring 14 points.
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|4||Miami Heat *||1||1||.500||1.0||2|
|5||New York Knicks||1||0||1.000||0.5||1|
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|13||Portland Trail Blazers||0||1||.000||1.0||1|
|15||Los Angeles Clippers||0||1||.000||1.0||1|