October 22 – Ja Morant scored a game-high 49 points and steered the visiting Memphis Grizzlies to a 129-122 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday.
Morant hit 17 of 26 shots from the floor. He finished 5-for-6 on 3-point attempts, his lone miss coming late in the fourth quarter on a heave against an expiring shot clock.
Morant, who fell three points shy of his career high, added a game-high eight assists and two blocked shots, both coming in the fourth quarter as the Rockets kept things close.
Jalen Green led the Rockets with 33 points while Kevin Porter Jr. added 18 points and four assists. Alperen Sengun produced a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.
Nuggets 128, Warriors 123
Nikola Jokic scored 26 points as part of a triple-double and Denver held on for a win over Golden State in San Francisco.
Jokic also had game highs with 12 rebounds and 10 assists, helping the Nuggets exact a measure of revenge over a Warriors team that eliminated Denver from the Western Conference playoffs in the first round last April.
Stephen Curry put up a game-high 34 points for the Warriors, who had beaten the Los Angeles Lakers on Opening Night before getting stunned by a 70-point Nuggets first half three nights later.
Trail Blazers 113, Suns 111 (OT)
Anfernee Simons broke a tie by hitting a running hook shot with 7.2 seconds left in overtime and Damian Lillard recorded 41 points and seven rebounds to help Portland stun visiting Phoenix.
The Trail Blazers pulled out the win by scoring the game’s final seven points. Jusuf Nurkic added 20 points and 17 rebounds and Simons scored 16 points as Portland won its second straight game to open the season.
Devin Booker scored 33 points and Deandre Ayton added 26 for the Suns. After Simons’ basket, Ayton was fouled with 1.2 seconds left but missed the first free throw. He then missed the second on purpose and teammate Jock Landale collected the rebound but missed the follow shot just before time expired.
Jazz 132, Timberwolves 126 (OT)
Jordan Clarkson scored 29 points and Utah overcame a 17-point deficit to down Minnesota in overtime at Minneapolis. The Jazz scored the final seven points of OT to pick up their second straight win to start the season.
Lauri Markkanen finished with 24 points, Kelly Olynyk had 21 before fouling out late in regulation and former Minnesota player Malik Beasley added 15 for Utah.
Anthony Edwards scored 30 for the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 and D’Angelo Russell added 23, including an OT-forcing bucket with 5.4 seconds left in regulation. Rudy Gobert, who was traded from Utah to Minnesota in the offseason, hauled in 23 rebounds but only scored nine points.
Nets 109, Raptors 105
Kevin Durant hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 56 seconds left for Brooklyn, which nearly folded down the stretch before earning a victory over Toronto in New York.
Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 30 points and added seven assists. Durant added 27 for the Nets, and Nic Claxton contributed 19 points and 11 rebounds to help Brooklyn overcome a 10-point deficit late in the third.
Toronto’s Pascal Siakam posted a triple-double with a game-high 37 points plus 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Fred VanVleet added 18 points while Scottie Barnes contributed 17 for the Raptors, who lost for only the sixth time in the past 28 meetings with Brooklyn.
Wizards 102, Bulls 100
Bradley Beal connected from short range with 7.4 seconds left to break a tie as Washington held off visiting Chicago. The Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan misfired on a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the final horn.
Kyle Kuzma scored a team-high 26 points for the Wizards while Beal had 19.
Playing for a second straight game without Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball, the Bulls took their first defeat despite getting a game-high 32 points from DeRozan and 24 for Nikola Vucevic.
Pelicans 124, Hornets 112
Jonas Valanciunas had a strong start and clutch finishing stretch on his way to 30 points and 17 rebounds as New Orleans beat host Charlotte.
Brandon Ingram tallied 28 points in a return to his home state and CJ McCollum added 21 points for the Pelicans, who led throughout the game and fended off Charlotte’s fourth-quarter comeback. Zion Williamson chipped in with 16.
Gordon Hayward posted 26 points and Terry Rozier poured in 23 points for the Hornets.
Hawks 108, Magic 98
Trae Young scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half and finished with 13 assists to lift host Atlanta to a victory over Orlando.
Atlanta’s John Collins collected 23 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. Dejounte Murray posted 20 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and four steals to help the Hawks overcome a 13-point deficit.
Cole Anthony scored 25 points off the Orlando bench in his season debut after missing the opener due to an illness. Top overall pick Paolo Banchero collected 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Magic.
Celtics 111, Heat 104
Jayson Tatum poured in 29 points and Jaylen Brown added 28 as Boston defeated host Miami in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference finals.
The duo combined to make 22 of 40 field-goal attempts (55 percent) to lead the Celtics to their second straight win to open the season. Boston was especially efficient from deep, going 14-for-33 (42.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
Tyler Herro paced the Heat with 25 points and six rebounds on 10-for-21 shooting. Bam Adebayo supplied 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Jimmy Butler went for 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Knicks 130, Pistons 106
Immanuel Quickley scored 20 points off the bench to lead six players in double figures for New York, which was rarely threatened while beating Denver in its home opener.
Starters RJ Barrett (18 points), Jalen Brunson (17) and Julius Randle (15) scored in double digits for the Knicks, as did Quickley’s fellow reserves Obi Toppin (16) and Derrick Rose (13).
Saddiq Bey scored 26 points for the Pistons. Bojan Bogdanovic had 18 points while Jaden Ivey added 17 points and Cade Cunningham finished with 15 points.
Spurs 137, Pacers 134
Josh Richardson scored 27 points off the bench and Tre Jones canned a pair of crucial free throws in the final seconds as San Antonio held on for a win over short-handed Indiana in Indianapolis.
Devin Vassell scored a career-high 23 points for the Spurs while Keldon Johnson also had 23. Poeltl had 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Haliburton led the Pacers with 27 points and 12 assists, with Mathurin adding 26 points. Indiana played without starting center Myles Turner (ankle sprain).
–Field Level Media
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