Rockets (5-1) 109; Hornets (2-3) 93
Led once again by James Harden (27/10/11), who posted his first triple-double of the season and Eric Gordon (26/2/2), the Rockets outscored the Hornets 31-19 in the fourth quarter to pull away with the victory. Ryan Anderson (21/6/1) shot 6-for-15 from three-point range to complement the two guards for Houston. As a whole, the Rockets lived on the perimeter, knocking down 22-of-57 attempts from beyond the arc. Kemba Walker (26/3/5) and Jeremy Lamb (20/3/3) led Charlotte in the scoring column while Dwight Howard (19/16/2) had another sensational double-double in the loss.
Magic (4-1) 114; Spurs (4-1) 87
The Magic opened some eyes with this home victory over the previously-undefeated Spurs. Although LaMarcus Aldridge (24/11/0) dominated once again for San Antonio, the Spurs were not able to do anything on offense, shooting just 33.7 percent overall, including 4-of-24 from three-point range. On the other hand, Orlando shot 57.1 percent, including 11-of-23 from three. The Magic were led by Evan Fournier (25/5/2), who went 10-for-12 from the field including a perfect 4-for-4 from deep. Orlando’s success has been one of the most surprising aspects of the early NBA season.
Knicks (1-3) 107; Nets (3-3) 86
Kristaps Porzingis (30/9/0) continued his hot start to the season, going 13-for-24 from the field in the Knicks’ first victory the season. None of his teammates scored over 13 points, but it didn’t matter. New York dominated the glass by a 55-to-34 margin and the Nets simply did not get anything rolling on offense. Oddly enough, 13 players played double-digit minutes for Brooklyn, while only two surpassed 25 minutes of run. Nets starters scored just 40 of their 86 total points on 14-for-35 shooting in the blowout loss.
Nuggets (2-3) 105; Hawks (1-5) 100
Nikola Jokic (18/15/5), Gary Harris (18/3/3) and Will Barton (18/6/3) all scored 18 points to lead the Nuggets in scoring. Denver dished out 24 assists compared to 11 turnovers in the contest and overcame a 4-for-20 three-point shooting display. Dennis Schroder (20/3/6) returned from his two-game injury absence to lead the Hawks, who shot an impressive 14-of-33 from deep as a team in the loss.
Timberwolves (3-3) 119; Thunder (2-3) 116
Minnesota’s starters guided their team to a home win. Karl-Anthony Towns (33/19/0), Jimmy Butler (25/5/7), Jeff Teague (17/4/10), Taj Gibson (16/8/3) and Andrew Wiggins (14/3/1) combined to score 105 of their team’s 119 points. Meanwhile, OKC’s foursome of Russell Westbrook (27/8/9), Paul George (23/5/4), Carmelo Anthony (23/2/2) and Steven Adams (20/8/1) combined to score 93 of their team’s 116 points. OKC’s reliance on the three-ball hurt them, as they shot just 8-for-28 from deep in what was the second time that the T-Wolves beat them in a close contest this season.
Warriors (4-2) 120; Wizards (3-2) 117
The major story coming out of this game will be the on-court fight between Draymond Green (3/3/6) and Bradley Beal (4/3/2) just before halftime. Both players were ejected as a result. Kevin Durant (31/11/6), Steph Curry (20/5/8) and Klay Thompson (18/2/3) led the comeback for Golden State, who outscored Washington 33-to-20 in the fourth quarter. John Wall (20/2/14) posted a double-double for the Wizards, but Otto Porter Jr. (29/10/2) had a dominant performance, going 11-of-16 overall, including 7-of-9 from three. Uncharacteristically, the Warriors shot just 26.3 percent overall from beyond the arc. Both teams passed the ball well, as Golden State dished out 33 assists while Washington had 30 of their own in the entertaining battle.
Raptors (3-2) 101; Lakers (2-3) 92
Toronto trailed at halftime, but roared back in the second half, outscoring Los Angeles 56-to-41. DeMar DeRozan (24/5/5), Serge Ibaka (18/8/0) led the Raptors in scoring while Kyle Lowry (11/10/12) posted his first triple-double of the year. Just one Lakers starter, Brook Lopez (13/5/2), scored in double-figures while the bench outscored the starters 56-to-36. Rookie Lonzo Ball (5/7/6) didn’t make much of an impact, going just 2-for-7 shooting.