NEW YORK (AP)Julius Randle scored 35 points, Evan Fournier made the go-ahead 3-pointer in the second overtime and added 32 against his former team, and the New York Knicks outlasted Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics 138-134 on Wednesday night.
Brown scored a career-high 46 points after overcoming a bout of COVID-19, and Jayson Tatum had the biggest basket of his awful opener with a three-point play that gave Boston a 134-133 lead with 1:05 remaining.
Fournier then hit his fourth 3-pointer of the overtimes with 56 seconds to go and Derrick Rose finished it off with a basket with 22 seconds to play as the Knicks finally put away a game they seemed to have won much earlier.
The Celtics put together a push late in regulation of their first game under coach Ime Udoka and Marcus Smart tied it with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
RJ Barrett scored all of his 19 points after halftime and Obi Toppin added a career-best 14 for the Knicks. Kemba Walker had 10 points and eight rebounds against his previous team.
Tatum had 20 points and 11 rebounds, but was 7 for 30 from the field, including 2 for 15 from 3-point range. The U.S. Olympic gold medalist missed badly on a jumper that could have won it at the end of the first overtime.
HORNETS 123, PACERS 122
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – LaMelo Ball scored 31 points, hitting seven 3-pointers, and Charlotte used a 24-0 third-period run to battle back and beat Indiana.
Indiana led 122-121 on Torrey Craig’s foul shots with 12.7 left. P.J. Washington made two free throws with 4.6 seconds left before Domantas Sabonis missed from 11 feet to seal the Hornets’ victory.
Ball scored 12 points in the third-period run and finished with nine rebounds and seven assists. Gordon Hayward scored 27 points for Charlotte, which got 14 each from newcomers Kelly Oubre Jr. and Ish Smith.
Sabonis scored 33 points, Malcolm Brogdon had 28, and Chris Duarte chipped in with 27 for Indiana. The Pacers had a 21-point lead early in the second half.
76ERS 117, PELICANS 97
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Joel Embiid had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Furkan Korkmaz hit four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to also score 22 points, and Philadelphia pulled away to beat New Orleans.
A subplot of the season opener for both teams involved who wasn’t playing. New Orleans was without star power forward Zion Williamson, who is recovering from surgery to repair his broken foot. The Sixers were missing disgruntled forward Ben Simmons, who was suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team.
Brandon Ingram had 25 points for New Orleans, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, a season-opening starter at guard in his third season, scored 23 points.
NUGGETS 110, SUNS 98
PHOENIX (AP) – Reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic had 27 points and 13 rebounds, leading Denver past Phoenix.
The 26-year-old Jokic earned his first MVP award last season after averaging 26.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game. The Serbian was up to his old tricks Wednesday, scoring on a crafty variety of hook shots, 3-pointers and flat-footed jumpers. He was 13 of 22 from the field.
The Suns were playing three months after losing Game 6 of the NBA Finals to the Milwaukee Bucks. Phoenix has returned much of the same roster, including the All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker, to make another run at the title.
The teams were playing for the first time since the Suns swept the Nuggets in four games in the second round of last season’s Western Conference playoffs.
This time, it was Denver with the upper hand. Will Barton scored 20 points and Michael Porter Jr. added 15. Mikal Bridges led Phoenix with 16 points.
BULLS 94, PISTONS 88
DETROIT (AP) – Zach LaVine scored 15 of his 34 points in the third quarter, leading the Chicago past Detroit.
Detroit’s Jerami Grant was off on an 11-foot baseline jumper with 50 seconds left, missing a chance to tie it. The Bulls sealed the victory by making free throws.
The Pistons were without rookie guard Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick, whose NBA debut was delayed by a sprained right ankle.
DeMar DeRozan had 17 points, and Lonzo Ball had 12 points in their Bulls debut. Nikola Vucevic had 10 points and 11 rebounds at halftime and finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Grant led the Pistons with 24 points.
GRIZZLIES 122, CAVALIES 121
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Ja Morant had 37 points and six assists, De’Anthony Melton added 20 points and Memphis pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat Cleveland.
Morant and Melton combined for 14 points down the stretch as the Cavaliers pulled within a point on a couple of occasions but could never overtake Memphis. Desmond Bane added 22 points for Memphis.
Jarrett Allen led the Cavaliers with 25 points, hitting all 11 of his shots from the field. Collin Sexton and rookie Evan Mobley added 17 points each. Cedi Osman, keyed a first-half burst and finished with 15.
WIZARDS 98, RAPTORS 83
TORONTO (AP) – Bradley Beal scored 23 points, Montrezl Harrell had 22 in his Wizards debut and Washington spoiled Toronto’s homecoming.
Kyle Kuzma – acquired with Harrell in the trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Lakers – had 11 points and 15 rebounds for Washington. Spencer Dinwiddie, acquired from the Nets in the same four-team deal, scored 13 points for the Wizards, who led by as many as 29 points to give new coach Wes Unseld Jr. a victory in his first game.
Fred VanVleet scored 12 points and rookie Scottie Barnes had 12 in his debut, but it was a disappointing performance for the Raptors, who played in Toronto for the first time since a Feb. 28, 2020, loss to Charlotte. Toronto relocated to Tampa last season because of border restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
TIMBERWOLVES 124, ROCKETS 106
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Anthony Edwards energized the first full-size home crowd of his nascent career with 29 points in 31 minutes in Minnesota’s victory over Houston.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 30 points and 10 rebounds, and D’Angelo Russell added 22 points and seven assists.
Christian Wood had 16 points and nine rebounds for Houston.
KINGS 124, TRAIL BLAZERS 121
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Harrison Barnes scored 36 points, De’Aaron Fox added 27 and Sacramento spoiled Portland’s opener under new coach Chauncey Billups.
Richaun Holmes had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings.
CJ McCollum led Portland with 32 points. Damian Lillard added 18 points and 11 assists.
JAZZ 107, THUNDER 86
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 21 rebounds to lead Utah past Oklahoma City.
Bojan Bogdanovic led Utah with 22 points, and Jordan Clarkson added 18.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 18 points for Oklahoma City.
SPURS 123, MAGIC 97
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Devin Vassell scored 19 points, Lonnie Walker added 17 and San Antonio continued its success on opening night by dominating Orlando.
San Antonio is 23-2 in season openers under coach Gregg Popovich.
Mo Bamba had 18 points for Orlando.