A busy night of NBA preseason basketball included the New York Knicks beating their city rivals the Brooklyn Nets, LeBron James leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to another win, the Chicago Bulls looking good with Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler playing sans-Rajon Rondo, and some worrying signs for the Charlotte Hornets, who didn’t just lose again, but continue to look awful.
Charlotte Hornets 86 Boston Celtics 104: The Hornets continue to play bad basketball while the Celtics tried out some new things, playing without Horford, Thomas and Bradley. Jordan Mickey led Boston with 16 points, Christian Wood was the top scorer for Charlotte with 13 points. The Hornets shot just 38.3% from the field.
Brooklyn Nets 98 New York Knicks 116: The Nets played with Jeremy Lin, and it looked like the heart of the team was missing. Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose were missing from the Knicks, who were led by 16 from Carmelo Anthony, who had Kristaps Porzingis in the lineup next to him adding 12 points.
Philadelphia 76ers 105 Cleveland Cavaliers 108: More of the same from the Cavaliers, who started out strong, hanging on for the win. LeBron James finished with 15 points in 17 minutes, this time more focused on scoring than flashy assists. Jordan McRae continues to impress off the bench, scoring 20 points. Richaun Holmes led the Sixers with 19 points, who enjoyed Joel Embiid looking sharper than before, scoring 12 points in 13 minutes.
Indiana Pacers 105 Chicago Bulls 121: A pretty impressive performance for the Bulls, although they did do it against no Paul George, while Rajon Rondo was missing in Chicago. Dwyane Wade looked terrific, scoring 22 points, and setting up Jimmy Butler for a sweet alley-oop dunk. Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic looked very good coming off the bench, combining to score 38 points.
Atlanta Hawks 91 San Antonio Spurs 102: The Hawks rested almost every meaningful player they had, so their sloppy basketball was to be expected. Meanwhile, a full-strength Spurs side presented Tony Parker looking sharp, scoring 15 points on 7-of-8 from the field, and Manu Ginobili with 11 points off the bench in only 16 minutes, hitting a couple of 3-pointers.
Dallas Mavericks 74 Milwaukee Bucks 88: Harrison Barnes looked like this is the NBA finals, shooting just 3-for-13 from the field, struggling without Dirk Nowitzki in his vicinity. Jabari Parker stood out for the Bucks, scoring 21 points to lead them, hitting 9-of-14 from the field to go with six rebounds.
Minnesota Timberwolves 109 Miami Heat 100: A bad shooting day from the Timberwolves didn’t slow them down thanks to 14 offensive rebounds. Karl-Anthony Towns led them with 20 points on 7-of-18 from the field, finishing with a 20-10 double double. Andrew Wiggins was just 3-for-11 from the field, but scored 19 points. Hassan Whiteside led Miami, scoring 17 points while grabbing 12 boards.