CJ McCollum drilled a 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds left before the host Portland Trail Blazers turned a late defensive stop into a 128-126 overtime victory over the short-handed Houston Rockets on Saturday.
McCollum hit 9 of 16 3-pointers and added eight assists, teaming with Damian Lillard (32 points, nine assists) to offset the clutch shooting of Rockets guard James Harden, who drilled two 3-pointers in the waning moments, the second of which gave Houston a 126-125 lead with 15.3 seconds left.
Harden (44 points plus a career-high-tying 17 assists), however, had his pass with 1.3 seconds remaining picked off by Robert Covington, and the Trail Blazers sealed the victory.
Christian Wood paired 31 points with 13 rebounds in his Rockets debut, while rookie Jae’Sean Tate added 13 points for Houston, which was without six players due to COVID-19 protocols.
Cleveland Cavaliers 128 – Detroit Pistons 119 (2OT)
Collin Sexton erupted for 32 points and Cleveland spoiled Detroit’s home opener with a double-overtime victory.
Andre Drummond, playing against his former team for the first time since Detroit traded him in February, supplied 23 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks. Cedi Osman contributed 22 points and Darius Garland had 21.
Jerami Grant led Detroit with 28 points and Blake Griffin had 26. Delon Wright tossed in 19 and Derrick Rose chipped in 13.
Minnesota Timberwolves 116 – Utah Jazz 111
D’Angelo Russell scored 25 points, including three key free throws in the final seconds, to lead Minnesota to a victory over Utah in Salt Lake City.
Malik Beasley and rookie Anthony Edwards each scored 18, while Karl-Anthony Towns contributed 16 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots as Minnesota won its first road game after opening the season with a home win over Detroit.
Jordan Clarkson led Utah with 23 points, but the Jazz shot only 38.3 percent and were hurt by rough shooting nights by Donovan Mitchell and Bogdanovic. Mitchell heated up late, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers as Utah rallied, but the All-Star hit only 6 of 23 shots for 21 points. Bogdanovic scored nine on 3-of-16 shooting.
Sacramento Kings 106 – Phoenix Suns 103
De’Aaron Fox recorded 24 points and seven assists to help host Sacramento get past Phoenix. The two teams meet again Sunday night in Sacramento.
Buddy Hield scored 14 points and Marvin Bagley III added 13 points and 11 rebounds as Sacramento won its second straight game to start the season. Nemanja Bjelica tallied 12 points, Harrison Barnes had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Richaun Holmes added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Kings.
Devin Booker scored 26 points for the Suns. Chris Paul registered 22 points and 12 assists, Jae Crowder had 17 points and eight rebounds and Deandre Ayton contributed nine points and 12 rebounds.
Hawks 122, Grizzlies 112
Trae Young scored 36 points to lead visiting Atlanta past Memphis.
Young was 10 of 24 from the floor but just 1 of 7 on 3-pointers, and he also made 15 of 17 from the free-throw line. The guard had nine assists and only two turnovers. Young won the head-to-head battle with Memphis point guard Ja Morant, who had 28 points and seven assists.
Morant, who had 44 points on opening night, was called for a technical foul with 1:10 remaining. After Morant’s technical, Young made the free throw and followed with a basket to give Atlanta a 118-110 lead with 56.7 seconds left that virtually sealed the outcome.
Orlando Magic 130 – Washington Wizards 120
Terrence Ross scored 25 points off the bench as Orlando continued its mastery of host Washington.
Nikola Vucevic collected 22 points and 17 rebounds and Maryland native Markelle Fultz had 21 points for the Magic, who scored at least 120 points en route to winning all four games against the Wizards last season.
Washington’s Bradley Beal answered a 31-point performance in the season-opening loss to Philadelphia with 39 on Saturday. Beal made 9 of 13 free-throw attempts, but the rest of the team made 6 of 15 attempts. Russell Westbrook recorded his second straight triple-double with 15 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists for the Wizards.
Oklahoma City Thunder 109 – Charlotte Hornets 107
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points, hitting the game-winning shot with 1.4 seconds remaining, to lift Oklahoma City over host Charlotte.
Gilgeous-Alexander added nine rebounds. George Hill followed with 21 points, and Darius Bazley finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder.
Seven players scored in double figures for Charlotte, led by Terry Rozier with 19 points and P.J. Washington with 18 to go with eight rebounds. Devonte’ Graham and Miles Bridges chipped in 14 points apiece, with Graham added 10 assists.
Philadelphia 76ers 109 – New York Knicks 89
Joel Embiid scored a game-high 27 points and converted a go-ahead traditional three-point play to highlight a game-turning, 14-point second-quarter run as Philadelphia defeated host New York.
Embiid started the 14-0 run with a free throw and scored six points during the surge, which came immediately after the Knicks mounted a 9-0 run to match their biggest lead at 45-40.
Embiid also had 10 rebounds as the 76ers won their second straight to open the season. Seth Curry and Tobias Harris each scored 17 points while Ben Simmons added 15 points and nine rebounds. Julius Randle led the Knicks with 25 points, and Alec Burks chipped in 22 off the bench.
Indiana Pacers 125 – Chicago Bulls 106
Domantas Sabonis had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists as Indiana shrugged off a slow start with two huge scoring runs in an easy victory at Chicago.
T.J. Warren added 23 points and Victor Oladipo had 22 as the Pacers earned their 10th consecutive victory over the Bulls going back to the 2018-19 season. The Pacers reeled off a 21-0 run in the second quarter and an 18-0 run to open the second half.
Zach LaVine scored 17 points and Lauri Markkanen added 16 points with nine rebounds for the Bulls, who trailed 99-71 after three quarters.
San Antonio Spurs 119 – Toronto Raptors 114
DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute, as San Antonio rallied and then held off visiting Toronto.
The Raptors led 114-110 after Fred VanVleet’s 26-foot 3-pointer with 2:07 to play but San Antonio rallied on a 3-pointer by DeRozan and a putback layup by LaMarcus Aldridge with 29.9 seconds remaining after two offensive rebounds by the Spurs.
Two free throws by Rudy Gay with 12 seconds left expanded the lead. After a timeout and a missed 3-pointer by VanVleet, Keldon Johnson secured the win for San Antonio with a pair of free throws with 1.1 seconds left. VanVleet also finished with 27 points to lead the Raptors.
–Field Level Media