The second night of the 2015-2016 NBA season is the real opener, busy to a brim with great games and everyone playing, including the Cleveland Cavaliers getting their first win of the season, the Chicago Bulls dominating against the Brooklyn Nets, the Oklahoma City Thunder beating the San Antonio Spurs, the New York Knicks surprisingly great against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers not looking like anything’s changed.
Washington Wizards 88 Orlando Magic 87: John Wall won the game for the Wizards with a floater 12.7 seconds from the finish, scoring 22 points to go with 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 5 blocks, while Bradley Beal led the team with 24 points. Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 17 points, as both he and Elfrid Payton got points-rebounds double doubles. Nikola Vucevic had a chance to win the game in the final seconds but his shot bounced off the rim.
Philadelphia 76ers 95 Boston Celtics 112: A season of less evident tanking begins with a loss, while the Celtics, much more ambitious this year, took advantage. Isaiah Thomas had 27 points and 7 assists off the bench, and along with Amir Johnson scoring 15 points made up for a rough David Lee debut (8 points). Jahlil Okafor looked great with 26 points in his rookie debut, but he also turned the ball over 8 times.
Chicago Bulls 115 Brooklyn Nets 100: The Bulls win for the second time in two nights, this time not needing any late defensive heroics. Jimmy Butler missed just two shots en route to 24 points, Nikola Mirotic added 18 points and 9 rebounds while Derrick Rose, with 15 points, didn’t try and get in the way. Brook Lopez scored 26 points for a Nets team that didn’t make a single 3-pointer.
Utah Jazz 87 Detroit Pistons 92: The Pistons are 2-0 with Andre Drummond looking like a new man from the free throw line, making 8-of-11 to finish with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Reggie Jackson scored 19. Derrick Favors had 26 for the Jazz, who started with a disappointing Raul Neto instead of Trey Burke, who was great all preseason.
Charlotte Hornets 94 Miami Heat 104: Chris Bosh with 21 points, Dwyane Wade with 20 and Gerald Green scoring 19 made the difference for the Heat against the renewed Hornets, led by Kemba Walker with 19 points, followed by Jeremy Lin and Al Jefferson each with 17.
Indiana Pacers 99 Toronto Raptors 106: The Pacers shot just 37.2% from the field, including 4-of-17 for Paul George who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while George Hill led the scoring at 19. The trio of DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas combined to score 69 points for the Raptors, more than enough.
Denver Nuggets 105 Houston Rockets 85: THE surprise of the night, as playing without Dwight Howard looked like it had more effect than before on the Rockets. James Harden shot just 6-of-21 from the field, making his 22 points much less effective. Danilo Gallinari looked great with 23 points and rookie Emmanuel Mudiay had 17 with 9 assists, but also turned the ball over 11 times.
Cleveland Cavaliers 106 Memphis Grizzlies 76: The Cavaliers put their opening loss behind them and blew the Grizzlies out the water with a 26-10 first quarter. LeBron James needed to score just 12 points with 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals, while Kevin Love, scoring 17, led the team. The Grizzlies shot just 35.4% from the field.
New York Knicks 122 Milwaukee Bucks 97: The new Knicks looked great on opening night, with Derrick Williams scoring 24 off the bench while Kristaps Porzingis didn’t look as raw as expected with 16 points, making up for Carmelo Anthony scoring just 11, shooting 4-of-16 from the field.
San Antonio Spurs 106 Oklahoma City Thunder 112: The best game of the night, as Russell Westbrook stole the show from Kevin Durant. Westbrook scored 33 to go with 10 assists, while Durant finished with 22. Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs scoring 32 points, but the rest of the guys need more time to get. LaMarcus Aldridge had just 11 points on 3-of-11 from the field.
Dallas Mavericks 111 Phoenix Suns 95: An awful preseason can mean nothing. Eight Mavs scored in double figures, led by Raymond Felton (!!!) with 18 points. The Suns shot just 25% from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 18 times.
New Orleans Pelicans 94 Portland Trail Blazers 112: Anthony Davis looked much better with 25 points and got help from Eric Gordon (20) and Ryan Anderson (21) but the defense wasn’t there, as C.J. McCollum exploded for 37 points, helped out by Damian Lillard with 21.
Los Angeles Clippers 111 Sacramento Kings 104: Blake Griffin scored 33 with 8 rebounds and 4 assists, Chris Paul had 18 points with 11 assists, and all fell quite normal for the Clips. DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 32 points and 13 boards but also 8 turnovers. Rajon Rondo scored 4 points on 2-of-8 from the field on his debut.
Minnesota Timberwolves 112 Los Angeles Lakers 111: Ricky Rubio played one of his best NBA games ever to score 28 points and dish out 14 assists while Kevin Martin scored 23 off the bench. The Timberwolves got lucky in the final seconds as Lou Williams somehow missed a 4-feet shot to try and win the game in the final seconds while Kobe Bryant did what he does best: Play like he’s the only player on the floor, shooting 8-of-24 from the field to score 24 points.