Brooklyn faced adversity early against Houston on Friday night, but they rebounded to claim a 123-116 victory at Barclays Center.

The Nets fell into a hole early and trailed by as much as 15 in the first half before it found scoring from some surprising places.

Taurean Prince unexpectedly led the way offensively with a team-high 27 points for Brooklyn while Garrett Temple chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Brooklyn still called Kyrie Irving's number down the stretch and he sealed the game with a step-back dagger on a corner 3-pointer in the fourth quarter. He finished with 22 points on the night.

James Harden continued his ridiculous run at the charity stripe, tallying 36 points and eight rebounds while sinking 14 free throws. But he struggled from deep and made only two of his 16 long-range shots.

Houston has made a name for itself by shooting a large number of threes, but shooting at a 25 percent clip against a Brooklyn team that converted 59.4 percent from downtown didn't help their chances.

The Rockets dropped to 3-2 in the western conference, while the Nets improved to 2-3 in season 2019-20.

Kemba makes himself at home in the Garden

Kemba Walker scored 33 points in the Celtics' 104-102 win over the Knicks at TD Garden.

Russell Westbrook totalled 27 points, eight assists, seven rebounds, and four steals against Brooklyn.

Andre Drummond tallied 25 points and 24 rebounds as the Pistons fell to the Bulls 112-106.

Lopez and Garland wayward

Brook Lopez went 1-of-7 from the field and scored three points in the Bucks' 123-91 rout of the Magic.

Cleveland's Darius Garland missed all 10 of his shots and notched just two points in his team's 102-95 loss to the Pacers.

Tatum ices the game for the Celtics

Jayson Tatum scored 24 points and nailed the decisive basket as the Celtics snuck past the Knicks.

 

 

76ers at Blazers

Philadelphia is undefeated but they face a talented Portland team without Joel Embiid who is serving a two-game suspension for a skirmish with Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns. How will the 76ers respond without their dominant post presence and defensive stud down low? Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum certainly won't make things easy for the Eastern Conference powerhouse.

Kyrie Irving took little satisfaction from a record-breaking 50-point haul on his Brooklyn Nets debut because the team suffered a 127-126 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Six-time All-Star Irving set a new scoring record for a player making a first appearance with an NBA team, also adding eight rebounds and seven assists at Barclays Center.

The point guard shot 17-of-33 from the field, including 7-of-14 from three-point range, but a slip on the final play out of a Nets timeout forced him into a rushed jump shot that rimmed out and consigned Brooklyn to an opening loss.

"The job wasn't done, so that 50 just goes into [the books as] another few numbers. It holds value, but not really when you don't get a win," said Irving.

"None of that stuff matters unless you get a win. The race is to get as many wins as you can in 82 games and put yourself in position down the stretch.

"We've got 81 more to go and we just take it day by day."

Despite Irving's impressive scoring, the Nets found themselves 18 points behind the Timberwolves with eight minutes and 18 seconds left on the clock in the second quarter.

Head coach Kenny Atkinson moved to absolve the 27-year-old of any blame for the defeat due to his late miss and expects more from Brooklyn as their chemistry improves.

"[Irving] was outstanding. Obviously, great debut for him. Disappointed we made such a big hole for us," said Atkinson. "Everybody talks about the end of the game. Really, this game was lost in the first half.

"I think we're getting to know each other and he's getting to know his team-mates. He's getting to know the system.

"I thought he made some great [plays], the pass to Jarrett Allen on the roll, we got two free throws out of. I think there was a kick out to Taurean Prince, wide open, so I think there were good plays made there.

"I always say with point guards: 'Read the defense. If the game calls for you to get 50 points, get 50. There are other nights where it's going to be 15 assists.'

"So we'll look at it and, again, I think a big part of this is just getting more reps together, knowing each other better."

The Philadelphia 76ers opened their NBA season with a 107-93 win over rivals the Boston Celtics, while Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets lost.

Ben Simmons led the way with 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as the 76ers topped the Celtics in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Celtics debutant Kemba Walker – acquired to replace Irving in Boston – scored 12 points on four-of-18 shooting and one-of-six shooting from beyond the three-point line.

Irving made history in Brooklyn's 127-126 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves midweek.

Nets star Irving recorded the most points by a player on his team debut in NBA history after scoring 50 in the OT defeat.

The six-time All-Star broke Kiki VanDeWeghe's record, which was set in 1984 after the German-American posted 47 points for the Portland Trail Blazers.

 

Washington dazzles on Hornets debut

PJ Washington set a Charlotte Hornets rookie record by making seven three-pointers in the team's 126-125 win over the Chicago Bulls. He also had 27 points in his NBA debut.

Andre Drummond had 32 points, 23 rebounds and four blocks in the Detroit Pistons' 119-110 win over the Indiana Pacers.

 

Holiday highlights Pacers' woes

Indiana Pacers guard Aaron Holiday scored zero points on 0-of-six shooting and 0-of-one shooting from beyond the three-point line. That is probably the reason he only played seven minutes.

 

Fultz shows signs of life on Magic debut

Markelle Fultz's career with the Orlando Magic is off to a good start after a 94-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former number one pick, who struggled at the 76ers, also threw one down in transition.

Wednesday's results

Orlando Magic 94-85 Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons 119-110 Indiana Pacers
Minnesota Timberwolves 127-126 Brooklyn Nets (OT)
Charlotte Hornets 126-125 Chicago Bulls
Miami Heat 120-101 Memphis Grizzlies
Philadelphia 76ers 107-93 Boston Celtics
Dallas Mavericks 108-100 Washington Wizards
San Antonio Spurs 120-111 New York Knicks
Utah Jazz 100-95 Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets 108-100 Portland Trail Blazers
Phoenix Suns 124-95 Sacramento Kings

 

Bucks at Rockets

It is Russell Westbrook's Houston Rockets debut and now we get to see how he will work with James Harden. The two played together in Oklahoma City, but their usage rates were not nearly as high then as they are now. Oh, and we will see how reining MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo's shot has improved and if he will be more willing to shoot from beyond the arc.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving recorded the most points by a player on his team debut in NBA history.

Irving made his Nets debut on Wednesday and scored 50 points in a 127-126 overtime defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The six-time All-Star broke Kiki VanDeWeghe's record, which was set in 1984 after the German-American posted 47 points for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Irving – who also had eight rebounds and seven assists – almost finished with 52 points and the game winner but lost his balance attempting a potential winning shot against the Timberwolves.

The 2016 NBA champion swapped the Boston Celtics for the Nets in the offseason to team up with superstar Kevin Durant, who is recovering from an Achilles injury.

Irving – into his ninth NBA season – averaged 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists last season.

 

 

 

Kyrie Irving is expected to be the Brooklyn Nets' key player this season but the All-Star insisted a group effort will determine the direction of the team.

Irving swapped the Boston Celtics for the Nets to team up with Kevin Durant amid much hype and fanfare in the offseason.

Irving is set to be the alpha dog in 2019-20 as former Golden State Warriors superstar Durant recovers from an Achilles injury.

However, Irving told reporters on Tuesday: "I think that we all share a certain responsibility in the leadership here.

"I think that some of my past experiences, there could be a sense of alienation when you think about someone naming you as just the leader of the team and falling all in your court.

"I want to share those responsibilities with those guys — obviously we have different roles, that every single night there's a consistency that you have to live up to, and your game. But overall, there shouldn't be a different communication that I have with [Dzanan] Musa or Caris [LeVert] just because I am a nine-year vet, or anything like that."

Irving's leadership style was questioned when he clashed with some of his team-mates at the Celtics last season and Boston failed to live up to lofty championship expectations.

But now the star point guard is in a completely different situation as he attempts to put a Brooklyn team that have never won an NBA title on the map.

"This is just one accord, one team, one common voice," Irving said. "We all share our own experiences and we want to use that to become better as a team. So yeah, individually we have our own leadership, but as a group, we all share that responsibility."

Irving – a six-time All-Star – is entering his ninth NBA season and averaged 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game last year.

He will make his Nets debut as Brooklyn host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

 

Kyrie Irving acknowledged he was "conflicted" but would not divulge discussions with commissioner Adam Silver as the NBA's relationship with China remains on the agenda.

Preseason games in China - involving Irving's Brooklyn Nets - were at the centre of controversy after a since-deleted tweet from Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey supported anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

Morey's comments overshadowed what had been expected to be a celebration of the NBA in one of their key international markets, with media duties cancelled, although the games went ahead.

LeBron James, whose Los Angeles Lakers were also involved, weighed in on his return to the United States, suggesting Morey "wasn't educated" on the matter.

And Irving was asked about the situation following the Nets' final preseason game against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center, where fans were pictured wearing "Stand with Hong Kong" shirts in the stands.

Questions centred on a reported behind-closed-doors meeting between Silver and the players involved in China.

"I don't know whose notes [reports are from] or who is in there that you can't really depend on to keep a conversation like that in house," Irving said. "Especially when it is about the NBA brand and the NBA players being impacted by it.

"I stand for four things, man: inner peace, freedom, equality and world peace. So, if that is being conflicted inside of me, I am definitely going to have something to say, and I left it in that room."

Irving, who scored 19 points on 7-of-17 shooting in the defeat to the Raptors, added: "I understand that Hong Kong and China is dealing with their issues, respectively.

"But there is enough oppression and stuff going on in America for me not to be involved in the community issues here as well."

Silver claimed earlier this week the Chinese government had asked the NBA to fire Morey, adding: "We said there's no chance that's happening. There's no chance we'll even discipline him."

Anthony Davis became the latest star to suffer an injury during NBA preseason as the Brooklyn Nets eased to a 91-77 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in China.

Davis suffered a sprained thumb midway through the first quarter, joining the Nets' Kyrie Irving on the sidelines after he aggravated a facial injury in the sides' previous meeting on Thursday.

Star Lakers signing Davis tweaked his thumb while going up to block a shot at the rim, staying in the game for a short period before heading to the locker room for further evaluation.

He came back to the sidelines with an ice pack taped to his right hand and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

Davis served as the starting center, finishing the game with six points while shooting 2-of-7 from the field - both buckets coming off assists from LeBron James.

The former New Orleans Pelicans superstar added three rebounds and two blocks in 12 minutes before leaving due to the injury.

Los Angeles were able to keep it close through the first half but saw the Nets pull clear in the third quarter as Caris LeVert shone in Irving's absence.

LeVert left the previous clash early with a knock, but he scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. Taurean Prince also played a big role off the bench with 14 points.

The game brought to an end a trip to China that has been clouded in controversy stemming from a since-deleted tweet by Daryl Morey earlier this week, with the Houston Rockets GM supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

The two scheduled fixtures went ahead but all media availability was cancelled, overshadowing what had been expected to be a celebration of the NBA in one of its key international markets.

As the teams return to the United States, the Lakers' next preseason game is set for Monday against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.

The Nets host the Toronto Raptors next on Friday at Barclays Center.

Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving will not face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in Saturday's NBA preseason fixture after aggravating a facial fracture.

Irving left Brooklyn's 114-111 win over the Lakers early on Thursday due to the problem he suffered over the offseason.

The Nets announced on Friday that Irving will not feature against the Lakers at Shenzhen Dayun Arena in China.

Irving suffered the injury just one minute into Thursday's contest after being bumped by Lakers guard Rajon Rondo. He did not record a point, rebound or assist.

This is not Irving's first run-in with this kind of injury.

The 27-year-old point guard suffered a minor facial fracture playing for the Boston Celtics in November 2017 after taking an inadvertent elbow to the face during a game.

He also broke his jaw in December 2012 while playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Whether this problem will affect his success in his first season with the Nets remains to be seen.

Irving signed a four-year, $141million deal in the offseason alongside Kevin Durant, who also signed a max contract but will likely miss all of 2019-20 recovering from an Achilles injury.

A six-time All-Star, Irving has averaged 22.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in his career.

Kyrie Irving's Brooklyn Nets debut lasted just a minute as the much-discussed NBA preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers went ahead in Shanghai on Thursday.

Irving, who signed for the Nets alongside the injured Kevin Durant for the upcoming season, was trying to play through a facial fracture suffered in a pickup game last month, wearing a clear mask.

However, the former Boston Celtics star appeared to aggravate the issue early on as he clashed with Rajon Rondo and was immediately withdrawn.

The contest at least finally meant some basketball was played amid a week of controversy stemming from a since-deleted tweet by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

Morey's comments overshadowed what had been expected to be a celebration of the NBA in one of their key international markets in China.

Some fallout continued, with media duties for both teams and league commissioner Adam Silver cancelled, but the game represented a brief respite from a tumultuous few days.

The Nets prevailed 114-111 as some of the NBA's top stars took to the floor, although Caris LeVert followed Irving in making an early exit with an apparent eye problem.

Their absences made Spencer Dinwiddie the key man as he scored 20 points and Taurean Prince added 18 to lead six Nets in double figures.

LeBron James scored 20 points in 24 minutes to pace the Lakers, as he and Anthony Davis (16 points in 25 minutes) shared the floor as team-mates for the first time.

Brooklyn's Theo Pinson broke 111-111 tie with 20.9 seconds to play by hitting the second of two free throws, before Dzanan Musa's dunk with nine seconds left capped the scoring.

Los Angeles had a last shot to tie on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's three-pointer as the clock ran down, but it bounced away.

Kevin Durant thinks the New York Knicks are not "the cool thing right now", which is why they have struggled to land big names in free agency.

Ten-time NBA All-Star Durant was long touted as a potential target for the Knicks, along with Kyrie Irving, and became an unrestricted free agent after declining his player option with the Golden State Warriors.

However, the 2014 MVP – who sustained an Achilles tear in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season – signed a four-year, $164million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant will team up with Irving at Barclays Center, while Kawhi Leonard plumped for the Los Angeles Clippers as the Knicks came up empty-handed.

Explaining his decision in an interview with Hot 97 in New York, Durant said: "I think a lot of fans look at the Knicks as a brand and expect these younger players — who in their lifetime don't remember the Knicks being good — [to look at it the same way].

"I didn't grow up with the Knicks being good. Well, I remember the Knicks being in the Finals, but the kids after me didn't see that. So, the brand of the Knicks to them isn't as cool to them as, let's say, the Golden State Warriors or even the Lakers or the Nets now.

"The cool thing right now is not the Knicks."

Durant admitted he "thought about" signing with the Knicks, but never seriously considered it.

"It's just a thought," he added. "I didn't really do any full analysis on the Knicks.

"Basketball is the most important thing for me, so playing with Kyrie, DeAndre Jordan, the young players they've [the Nets] got, was key.

"Playing with Golden State, playing with an older group, I thought it was time for me to kind of impose my will on a younger group.

"I just wanted to be around a nice group of young players and also a good mix of vets."

Kyrie Irving has revealed how he plans to end his career playing alongside Kevin Durant as they prepare for a new chapter with the Brooklyn Nets.

After a tough season with the Boston Celtics, the point guard opted out of the final year of his contract and instead headed to the Nets, allowing him to join forces with Durant.

Irving admitted the duo were still unsure of their next move on the morning of free agency, though feels Brooklyn is the ideal destination to put down long-term roots.

"The morning of free agency, we still had no idea what we were doing," Irving told reporters at the team's media day. 

"We just want to care for one another in a way where we can build for the next four years and on. We want to end our careers together. 

"We want to do this as a team and what better place to do it than Brooklyn, with all these guys that had worked their tails off to be where they are now, to even be in a position here in Brooklyn."

The duo will have to wait to play together, however, as Durant is recovering from an Achilles injury suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Irving declared he will "protect" his new team-mate and not push him to come back until he is ready, something he feels was not the case with the Golden State Warriors in last season's playoffs.

"We all know K was not ready to play," the six-time NBA All-Star said.

"We all know that, whether people want to admit it or not. He was out 31 days and we put him on a national stage in the Finals to end up selling a product that came before the person, Kevin.

"Now, I'm here to protect that. And I'm going to be the protector of that all throughout the year and not allowing anyone to infiltrate that circle."

Kevin Durant said he felt it was "time for a change" after last season and so did not give too much thought to the Golden State warriors as he signed for the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant appeared as a Nets player for the first time on Friday, addressing a news conference.

Questions predictably focused on his decision to leave the dynasty he helped build with the Warriors for the hot-and-cold Nets, who have made the playoffs just once in the past four seasons.

But Durant said his achievements with Golden State were not on his mind as he entered free agency.

"I felt like it was time for a change," he told reporters. "I wanted to play for a new team and, simply put, I just did it.

"I didn't really think about what I was leaving behind or what we accomplished. I put that up on the shelf already.

"When it was time to make a decision about my future, I thought solely about me."

Asked if he considered staying with the Warriors or joining a team like the Los Angeles Clippers or New York Knicks, Durant replied: "I thought about it for a couple of seconds."

The 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA Finals MVP was ruled out of the end of last season and is expected to miss all of the coming campaign following an Achilles injury in Game 5 of the Finals series against the Toronto Raptors.

Durant had just returned from injury and that swift comeback prompted Kyrie Irving, a fellow new Nets signing, appearing alongside Durant on Friday, to discuss his thoughts.

"We all know K was not ready to play in that environment," Irving said. "We all know that, whether people want to admit it or not.

"He was out 31 days and we put him on a national stage to end up selling a product that came before the person Kevin and now I'm here to protect that.

"I'm going to be a protector of that all throughout the year and not allow anyone to infiltrate that circle.

"We have expectations for our team. We obviously know he's an integral part, but we'll wait for that.

"I'm very patient. I'll be [overly] patient with Kevin because I don't want anything to happen like that again.  I want him to be 101 per cent healthy."

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving will be assessed day-to-day as he recovers from a facial fracture he suffered in practice on Tuesday.

Irving took an elbow to the face while playing in a pickup game. He was transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation, though Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said the team were just doing their due diligence.

"I think this is a case of us being cautious with all our guys," Marks said. "A stray, inadvertent elbow playing pickup games - yes, I did see it - those type of plays happen frequently in the same game.

"This is just a case where he caught the elbow and now we're going to do our due diligence."

Marks also gave Irving high praise for his leadership since signing with the Nets in free agency.

He said the guard has been "religious" in workouts and can already see a strong sense of camaraderie building between the veterans and young players.

Irving has dealt with injuries to his face twice before during his NBA career, with the most recent coming during the 2017-18 season. He was elbowed in the face during a game while playing for the Boston Celtics, resulting in a minor facial fracture. He also broke his jaw in 2012 during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Nets officially start training camp on Saturday, with their first pre-season game scheduled for October 10 against the Los Angeles Lakers in China.

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward hopes Kyrie Irving is successful with the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving left Boston and inked a four-year, $140.6million contract with Brooklyn this offseason.

Hayward was asked about Irving's departure when he met with reporters on Tuesday. 

"The interesting part of the league is the drama that happens every offseason," Hayward said, via NBC Sports Boston. "I don't know if there's any league like that, where you have major guys moving teams.

"I wish [Irving] the best of luck as he goes to Brooklyn."

The Celtics also lost Al Horford (Philadelphia 76ers) and Marcus Morris (New York Knicks) in free agency.

But, they signed three-time All-Star Kemba Walker and added center Enes Kanter.

"As a team, we're excited about who we have coming in," Hayward said. "I'm more than excited to welcome Kemba and Enes, and all the other guys that are new for us."

Hayward was inconsistent last season after he missed almost all of 2017-18 with a devastating leg injury. He averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game while shooting 33.3 per cent from three-point range. 

Hayward said he has spent the offseason focusing on bouncing back.

"More than anything, just building back some confidence; being able to do everything that I'm used to doing," Hayward said. "Reps is what gives you confidence, being able to do things over and over and over and not worry about how my ankle is feeling or having to be cautious with it, has been really good for my confidence.

"That has felt really nice, being able to train how I'm used to training. Not having to worry about doing stuff for only 10 minutes, only doing a certain amount of reps. It's been really good from that standpoint."

The Celtics entered 2018-19 as the favourites to win the East but finished with a 49-33 record and were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the conference semifinals.

Page 1 of 2
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.