Nets (2-1) 116; Hawks (1-2) 104
Brooklyn led an extremely balanced attack, as five players scored 14 or more points in the victory. Led by reserve Allen Crabbe (20/5/0), the Nets also benefitted from efficient outings by starters DeMarre Carroll (17/3/2), D’Angelo Russell (16/7/10) and Caris LeVert (16/6/4), who shot a combined 15-of-29 from the floor.
Brooklyn won the rebounding battle 51-to-48, the assist battle 27-to-21 and also swatted eight shots, compared to just two by Atlanta. In the second and third quarters combined, the Nets outscored the Hawks 72-to-52 to break away.
Marco Belinelli (19/2/3) led the Hawks in scoring off the bench as go-to scorer Dennis Schroder (17/4/8) struggled mightily from the field, knocking down just 5-of-22 shots. Rookie John Collins (14/13/0) turned in a double-double off the bench in just 21 minutes on the court. While Atlanta went a remarkable 33-for-36 from the free throw line, they shot just 34.0 percent from the floor and 7-of-27 (25.9 percent) from three-point range in the contest.
Timberwolves (2-1) 115; Thunder (1-2) 113
Despite the Thunder roaring back to outscore the T-Wolves 38-to-27 in the fourth quarter, Minnesota came away with the narrow victory. Led by Karl-Anthony Towns (27/12/1) and Andrew Wiggins (27/7/4), the Timberwolves saw all five of their starters reach double-figures in the scoring column.
Point guard Jeff Teague (19/6/9) was especially effective despite his struggles in the first two games of the season. Minnesota’s bench scored just 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting in the game, but the T-Wolves were able to out-rebound the Thunder 45-to-36 and shot 50.0 percent from the field.
Oklahoma City shot just 10-of-16 from the free throw line, but their Big Three performed well, as Russell Westbrook (31/5/10), Carmelo Anthony (23/2/2) and Paul George (14/6/8) combined for 68 points, 13 rebounds and 20 assists. Center Steven Adams (17/13/3) was dominant on the interior, knocking down 8-of-12 attempts from the floor. Despite an impressive assist-to-turnover ratio of 26-to-11, they couldn’t pull off a win in front of their home fans.
Pelicans (1-2) 119; Lakers (1-2) 112
Anthony Davis (27/17/3) and DeMarcus Cousins (22/11/8) continued their absolute dominance, combining for a ridiculous 49 points on 17-of-35 shooting, 28 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals and five blocks. E’twaun Moore (19/2/0), Justin Holiday (14/5/6) and Ian Clark (14/2/2) all chipped in double-digit scoring efforts to complement the dynamic duo, as New Orleans shot an impressive 56.6 percent from the floor.
In his Lakers debut, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (20/2/1) was the only starter to reach double-figures while Jordan Clarkson (24/0/5) and Kyle Kuzma (20/6/2) turned in solid performances off the bench. Lonzo Ball (8/8/13) filled the stat sheet, but had a game-worst negative-24 plus-minus mark and shot just 3-of-13 from the field in the loss.
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