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National Basketball Association Game Capsules(Wednesday, October 29)
Final Score: Charlotte 108, Milwaukee 106 (OT)
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The buzz is indeed back in Charlotte. Kemba Walker hit a pair of clutch jumpers with time winding down, the last coming with 5.1 seconds remaining in overtime to give the re-branded Hornets a historic 108-106 comeback win over the Milwaukee Bucks at a raucous Time Warner Cable Arena. Charlotte's first game since the former Bobcats reclaimed the Hornets name held by the city's initial NBA franchise was certainly one to remember, and Walker made sure. The standout point guard forced overtime by draining a tough 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left in regulation, then later capped a 26-point night with a successful step-back for the winning shot. The Hornets overcame a 24-point third-quarter deficit to prevail, the largest comeback victory in club history. Marvin Williams added 19 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 17 with eight rebounds to aid the rally, with Al Jefferson contributing 14 points and 10 rebounds. Milwaukee, coming off a league-worst 15-67 campaign, played well for much of the night under new head coach Jason Kidd before wilting down the stretch. Brandon Knight totaled 22 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds in a losing cause, with Khris Middleton and O.J. Mayo each tallying 17 points for the Bucks. Jabari Parker had a quiet NBA debut, however, managing just eight points and four rebounds in 37 minutes in the Milwaukee rookie and former Duke star's return to the Carolinas.
Final Score: Indiana 103, Philadelphia 91
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Roy Hibbert had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks in the Indiana Pacers' 103-91 season-opening win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. The Pacers were the Eastern Conference's best team last season and lost for the second straight year to the Miami Heat in the Conference Finals, but things took an ugly turn this summer. Lance Stephenson bolted Indiana in free agency and landed with the Charlotte Hornets. To make things worse, All-Star Paul George broke his leg at a scrimmage for Team USA before this summer's FIBA World Cup. George is expected to miss the season. Donald Sloan had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Pacers, who went 56-26 last season. Rodney Stuckey added 16 points and five assists in his Pacers debut. C.J. Miles and Chris Copeland donated 15 and 11 points, respectively. The Pacers also played without starters David West (sprained ankle) and George Hill (knee contusion) and backup point guard C.J. Watson (foot). Tony Wroten ended with 22 points, eight boards, seven assists and three steals for the Sixers, who went 19-63 last season. Alexey Shved tallied 18 points. Nerlens Noel had six points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in his NBA debut. Noel was acquired on draft night in 2013 and sat all of last season to heal from a torn ACL.
Final Score: Boston 121, Brooklyn 105
Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Rajon Rondo missed 52 games last season with a torn ACL, didn't play a minute this preseason and woke up this morning not knowing if he'd be ready for opening night. After a long nap Wednesday afternoon, Rondo decided that the broken left hand that kept him out of the preseason wasn't going to keep him from returning to the hardwood. The decision paid off, as Rondo tallied 13 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to a 121-105 rout of the Brooklyn Nets. Boston's star point guard joked with reporters that he was 83 percent healthy yesterday, but showed no ill-effects from the injury in looking like his old dominant self in just under 30 minutes of work. Kelly Olynyk scored 19 points and Jeff Green had 17 for Boston. Eight Celtics reached double figures, and all 10 that took the floor scored at least six points in a balanced attack. Mirza Teletovic shot 8-of-11 off the bench to pace Brooklyn with 20 points in the setback. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams netted 19 apiece.
Final Score: Miami 107, Washington 95
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Bosh is back in the spotlight after taking a back seat to LeBron James the last four years in South Beach. He got off to a great start in the first game of the post-LeBron era Wednesday. Bosh had 26 points and 15 rebounds as the Miami Heat defeated the Washington Wizards 107-95 in the season opener for both teams. Bosh, who saw his numbers decline each year with James in town, signed a five-year $118 million deal in the offseason to remain in Miami. He hopes to return to the 24 points and 10.8 rebounds per game averages during his final season with Toronto in 2009-10. The 29-year-old lefty had averaged 17.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game with Miami coming into this season. Dwyane Wade netted 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, while Norris Cole added 23 for the Heat, who made it to the NBA Finals in each of James' four years and won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. Luol Deng posted 12 points in his Miami debut. John Wall tallied 16 points and 11 assists, Marcin Gortat supplied 18 points and seven rebounds and Drew Gooden provided 18 points for Washington, which will be without blossoming third-year guard Bradley Beal for the first month due to a wrist injury. The Wizards, who went 44-38 last season, made it to the Eastern Conference semifinals before falling to the Indiana Pacers. Ten-time All-Star Paul Pierce had 17 points, six boards and five assists in his Wizards debut, taking over for Trevor Ariza, who signed with Houston.
Final Score: Toronto 109, Atlanta 102
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Amir Johnson's 16-point, 10-rebound double- double helped the Toronto Raptors to a 109-102 win over the Atlanta Hawks in the season opener for both teams. Jonas Valanciunas paced the Raptors, who look to build off of the second Atlantic Division title in team history, with 17 points to go along with eight boards. DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points with a career-high 11 rebounds in the win. Kyle Lowry, who signed a four-year extension with Toronto worth $48 million in the offseason, also registered a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. Kyle Korver shot a blistering 7- of-10 from the floor -- including 6-of-7 from deep -- to account for 20 points in the setback. Jeff Teague and Mike Scott also scored 20 points for Atlanta, with Teague adding eight assists. Al Horford, who played in just 29 games for the Hawks last season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle, returned to the court and totaled 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Final Score: Memphis 105, Minnesota 101
Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Marc Gasol had a career-high 32 points, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the Memphis Grizzlies' 105-101 season- opening win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Zach Randolph added 25 points and 13 boards for the Grizzlies, who had lost 13 straight season openers. Mike Conley and Courtney Lee tallied 16 and 14 points, respectively. Memphis went 50-32 last season and lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs. The Timberwolves, who went 40-42 last season, made a big splash in the offseason when they traded Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team deal. Minnesota landed the No. 1 picks in the last two drafts, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, from Cleveland, and Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers, while the Sixers received Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved from Minnesota and a 2015 first-round draft pick from Cleveland. Young ended with 26 points and two steals for the Timberwolves on Wednesday. Bennett and Wiggins added nine and six points, respectively. Mo Williams had 18 points. Flip Saunders began his second stint with the Timberwolves after taking over for the retired Rick Adelman. Saunders guided Minnesota to eight playoff appearances from 1995-2005.
Final Score: Chicago 104, New York 80
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Taj Gibson poured in 22 points in 28 minutes off the bench as the Chicago Bulls tipped off a season of high expectations with an emphatic 104-80 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Getting Derrick Rose back from another devastating knee injury and adding savvy veteran Pau Gasol in free agency has the Bulls stamped as one of the major threats in the Eastern Conference. They did nothing to temper the hype on opening night, shooting nearly 51 percent from the field while stifling New York's offense all evening long. Both Gasol and Rose made notable contributions to the rout, with the former putting up 21 points and 11 rebounds and the 2010-11 NBA MVP scoring 13 points with five assists in his regular-season return to the court. The Knicks, meanwhile, put up a dud in the head coaching debut of Phil Jackson disciple Derek Fisher. Carmelo Anthony was held to a modest 14 points on 5-of-13 accuracy and the team finished a poor 3-for-17 from 3-point range. Amar'e Stoudemire was New York's lone other player to score in double figures, managing 12 points along with eight rebounds.
Final Score: Denver 89, Detroit 79
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried was able to carry the momentum from his starring role on Team USA this summer into the NBA regular season. Faried had 22 points, 17 rebounds and four assists in Denver's season-opening 89-79 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. Fresh off helping the United States win gold and earning All-Tournament honors at the FIBA World Cup, Faried was at his best for the playoff-hopeful Nuggets. Denver missed the postseason a year ago, finishing with 21 fewer wins than the 2012-13 season while dealing with a number of injuries. Finally healthy, these Nuggets hope to contend in a crowded Western Conference. Arron Afflalo chipped in 15 points and Timofey Mozgov tallied 13 and 11 rebounds. All 12 Nuggets that took the floor scored at least two points. Josh Smith netted a game-high 25 points to lead Detroit, which was without forward Greg Monroe, who is serving a suspension for a DUI arrest last February and is out for the first two games of this season.
Final Score: Houston 104, Utah 93
Salt Lake City, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Dwight Howard scored 22 points with 10 rebounds and two blocks to lead the Houston Rockets to a 104-93 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. James Harden nearly contributed a triple- double, scoring 18 with 10 assists and seven rebounds, and Trevor Ariza finished with 20 points in the win. Houston, which opened the season with a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, opened 2-0 for the third straight season. Alec Burks led the Jazz with 18 points, while Derrick Favors deposited 16 points with seven rebounds and Trey Burke added 15 points in the setback. Dante Exum, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft, totaled five points with an assist and a steal in just under 10 minutes of action for Utah.
Final Score: Phoenix 119, LA Lakers 99
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Isaiah Thomas made his Phoenix Suns debut a memorable one, shooting 9-of-11 for 23 points off the bench in a 119-99 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. Thomas, the former King who signed a four-year deal with Phoenix this offseason, accepted a lesser role in hopes of being the missing piece for the playoff-hopeful Suns. Phoenix, which was projected to finish near the bottom of the standings a season ago, surprised by finishing a game shy of the eighth seed in a loaded Western Conference. All five starters reached double figures for the Suns, with Marcus Morris hitting five threes en route to 21 points. Goran Dragic scored 18 points and Eric Bledsoe went for 16 points and nine assists before getting ejected late in the third quarter. For the second straight night, Kobe Bryant was the lone bright spot for the Lakers. Bryant scored 31 points on 25 shots while the rest of LA's starters had 25 points combined on the same number of looks.
Final Score: Golden State 95, Sacramento 77
Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Stephen Curry filled the stat sheet with 24 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and five assists as the Golden State Warriors defeated the Sacramento Kings 95-77 in Steve Kerr's head coaching debut. Mark Jackson was unable to keep his job despite leading the Warriors to 51 wins a year ago and nine playoff wins during his three- year stint -- more victories (six) than Golden State had in its previous two decades. The rookie head coach Kerr, who won five NBA championship rings as a player, will attempt to guide the Warriors beyond the second round of the playoffs this season for the first time in 40 years. Klay Thompson had 19 points and six assists for Golden State, which fell to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games during the first round of last season's NBA playoffs. Marreese Speights provided 16 points off the bench and Draymond Green added 12 points and 10 boards in the triumph. DeMarcus Cousins posted 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings, who turned the ball over 27 times.
Final Score: Portland 106, Oklahoma City 89
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Life without Kevin Durant was fine for the Oklahoma City Thunder through three quarters. Then the Portland Trail Blazers got red hot in the fourth. LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and the Blazers pulled away for a 106-89 win over the Thunder in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday night. The Thunder led 77-75 after three quarters, but Portland outscored them 31-12 in the final frame. Russell Westbrook, who had 36 points through three, netted just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in the fourth. Wesley Matthews nailed five 3-pointers and finished with 22 points, while Damian Lillard netted seven of his 10 points in the fourth for Portland, which went 54-28 a year ago and fell to eventual-champion San Antonio in the Western Conference semifinals of the playoffs. Nicolas Batum tallied 16 points, six assists and five rebounds in the triumph. Westbrook posted 26 of his 36 points in the first half, ended 11-of-26 from the field and sunk 15-of-16 foul shots for the Thunder, who lost to San Antonio in the West Finals last season. The reigning NBA MVP Durant, who led the league in scoring for a fourth time in the last five seasons, will miss the start of the year after undergoing surgery Oct. 16 to fix a bone fracture in his right foot.
10/30 02:08:41 ET