The Los Angeles Lakers bounced back to winning ways in the NBA, while Trae Young led the Atlanta Hawks to victory on Tuesday.

Coming off a loss to the Toronto Raptors, the Lakers responded by beating the Phoenix Suns 123-115.

Anthony Davis (24 points and 12 rebounds) and LeBron James (19 points and 11 assists) had double-doubles for the Lakers (8-2).

The Lakers are top of the Western Conference ahead of two teams on four-game winning streaks – the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.

Young, 21, starred to help the Hawks past the Denver Nuggets 125-121.

The guard had 42 points – going eight-of-13 from three-point range – and 11 assists to continue his brilliant start to the season.

Embiid lifts 76ers as Butler shines

Joel Embiid had a double-double of 27 points and 16 rebounds in the Philadelphia 76ers' 98-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Miami Heat were too strong for the Detroit Pistons 117-108 as Jimmy Butler contributed 20 points and 13 assists.

The Jazz continued their winning run, getting past the Brooklyn Nets 119-114 thanks to 30 points from Donovan Mitchell.

 

Terrible Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder were thrashed by the Indiana Pacers 111-85.

 

Wonderful White

Coby White set a Chicago Bulls record for most threes in a quarter by hitting seven in the fourth in a 120-102 win over the New York Knicks.

Tuesday's results

Indiana Pacers 111-85 Oklahoma City Thunder
Philadelphia 76ers 98-97 Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat 117-108 Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls 120-102 New York Knicks
Atlanta Hawks 125-121 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers 123-115 Phoenix Suns
Utah Jazz 119-114 Brooklyn Nets
Sacramento Kings 107-99 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Clippers at Rockets

All eyes will be on the Toyota Center as two contenders, the Houston Rockets (7-3) and Los Angeles Clippers (7-3), meet.

The Los Angeles Lakers' winning run came to an end in the NBA, while Giannis Antetokounmpo was again dominant for the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

The Lakers saw their seven-match winning streak ended in a 113-104 loss to the depleted Toronto Raptors.

Without the likes of Kyle Lowry (thumb) and Serge Ibaka (ankle), the Raptors got past the Lakers thanks to Pascal Siakam (24 points and 11 rebounds) and Fred VanVleet (23 points and 10 assists).

Lakers star LeBron James went five-of-15 for 13 points, while he also finished with 15 assists and 13 rebounds.

Anthony Davis contributed 27 points for the Lakers (7-2).

Antetokounmpo starred with 35 points and 16 rebounds to help the Bucks edge the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-119.

 

Embiid lifts 76ers as Booker, Rubio shine

Joel Embiid had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Philadelphia 76ers ended a three-game losing run by beating the Charlotte Hornets 114-106.

Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio starred for the Phoenix Suns. Booker had 27 points and nine assists and Rubio a double-double of 22 points and 12 assists in a 138-112 thrashing of the Brooklyn Nets.

Trae Young had a double-double of 35 points and 10 assists, but the Atlanta Hawks suffered a 124-113 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

 

Morris unable to lift Knicks

Marcus Morris went three-of-12 for nine points in the New York Knicks' 108-87 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Jokic steps up again

Nikola Jokic hit his second game-winner in as many matches, seeing the Denver Nuggets edge the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98 after overtime.

Sunday's results

Denver Nuggets 100-98 Minnesota Timberwolves
Indiana Pacers 109-102 Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers 114-106 Charlotte Hornets
Milwaukee Bucks 121-119 Oklahoma City Thunder
Cleveland Cavaliers 108-87 New York Knicks
Phoenix Suns 138-112 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 124-113 Atlanta Hawks
Toronto Raptors 113-104 Los Angeles Lakers

 

Raptors at Clippers

Kawhi Leonard faces his former team, the Raptors (7-2), when the Los Angeles Clippers (6-3) host Toronto on Monday.

The Boston Celtics extended their winning streak after beating the San Antonio Spurs 135-115, while the Golden State Warriors lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Boston made it seven successive victories since losing their NBA season opener by topping San Antonio away from home on Saturday.

Jaylen Brown posted 30 points for the Celtics (7-1), who lost star Gordon Hayward to a fracture in his left hand, while Kemba Walker added 26.

The slumping Spurs (5-4) were led by DeMar DeRozan and his 22 points on their home court.

In Oklahoma City, the Thunder trumped the struggling Warriors 114-108 thanks to Danilo Gallinari's 21 points.

D'Angelo Russell and his 30 points were not enough for the Warriors, who dropped to 2-8 for the season in the absence of injured stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

 

Harden inspires Rockets

James Harden put up 42 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Houston Rockets beat the Chicago Bulls 117-94. Harden fell just short of his first triple-double of the season.

Luka Doncic had 24 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the Memphis Grizzlies 138-122. Doncic's performance came through three quarters after being rested for the final period.

 

Pelicans and Hornets combine for sloppy spectacle

The New Orleans Pelicans registered 26 turnovers, while the Charlotte Hornets turned the ball over on 22 occasions. New Orleans came away with a 115-110 win.

 

Harden lights up Chicago

'The Beard' had fun against the lowly Bulls, dishing off this stunning pass to Rockets team-mate Clint Capela.

 

Saturday's results

Boston Celtics 135-115 San Antonio Spurs
New Orleans Pelicans 115-110 Charlotte Hornets
Oklahoma City Thunder 114-108 Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets 117-94 Chicago Bulls
Dallas Mavericks 138-122 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Raptors at Lakers

Defending champions the Toronto Raptors (6-2) will have their hands full when they face the in-form Los Angeles Lakers (7-1) at Staples Center on Sunday. LeBron James and the Lakers have won seven games on the bounce since losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on Opening Night.

The Boston Celtics extended their winning streak in the NBA as Kemba Walker returned to Charlotte on Thursday.

Playing in Charlotte for the first time since leaving the Hornets at the end of last season, Walker received a warm ovation before the Celtics' 108-87 victory.

The guard was below his best, finishing with 14 points on four-of-12 shooting, but the Celtics recorded their sixth straight win.

Gordon Hayward (20 points and 10 rebounds) and Jayson Tatum (23 points and nine rebounds) led the way for Boston.

With Kawhi Leonard back, the Los Angeles Clippers edged the Portland Trail Blazers 107-101.

Leonard contributed a double-double of 27 points and 13 rebounds.

 

Butler brilliant for Heat

Jimmy Butler delivered for the Miami Heat, scoring 34 points to go with five rebounds and four assists in a 124-108 win over the Phoenix Suns.

LaMarcus Aldridge starred with 39 points as the San Antonio Spurs overcame the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-112.

Woes for Hornets

Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington struggled for Charlotte. Rozier went one-for-11 and Washington one-for-eight as they combined for just seven points.

 

Walker honoured

The Hornets paid tribute to the returning Walker with a classy video.

Thursday's results

Boston Celtics 108-87 Charlotte Hornets
San Antonio Spurs 121-112 Oklahoma City Thunder
Miami Heat 124-108 Phoenix Suns
Los Angeles Clippers 107-101 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Heat at Lakers

Miami (6-2) and the Los Angeles Lakers (6-1) have made fine starts to the season and this shapes as an entertaining early-season contest at the Staples Center.

LeBron James posted his third successive triple-double as the streaking Los Angeles Lakers prevailed 118-112 against the Chicago Bulls.

James stayed hot with 30 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Lakers to their sixth consecutive victory in the NBA on Tuesday.

The Lakers trailed the Bulls by 19 points before a fourth-quarter comeback ensured Los Angeles extended their winning run.

Kyle Kuzma helped lead the rally with 11 of his 15 points in the deciding quarter in Chicago.

Zach LaVine had 26 points but the Bulls fell to their fifth loss in six games.

 

Hayward ties career high

Gordon Hayward was the start of the show with 39 points in the Boston Celtics' 119-113 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a career-high night for Hayward, who made all 16 of his two-point attempts.

Devonte Graham scored a career-high 35 points as the Charlotte Hornets outlasted the Indiana Pacers 122-120 in overtime.

Trae Young fuelled the Atlanta Hawks with 28 of his 29 points in the second half as the hosts topped the San Antonio Spurs 108-100.

 

Magic's struggles continue

At 2-5, it has not been an easy season for the Orlando Magic. In 2019-20, the Magic are yet to reach 100 points in a game following their 102-94 defeat away to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

Young with the fancy feet

LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and the Spurs had no answer to Young in Atlanta.

 

Tuesday's results

Charlotte Hornets 122-120 Indiana Pacers (OT)
Boston Celtics 119-113 Cleveland Cavaliers
Atlanta Hawks 108-100 San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder 102-94 Orlando Magic
Los Angeles Lakers 118-112 Chicago Bulls
Denver Nuggets 109-89 Miami Heat

 

76ers at Jazz

Coming off their first defeat of the season, all eyes will be on the Philadelphia 76ers and how they respond. The championship hopefuls had opened the season with five straight wins before falling to the Phoenix Suns. The Utah Jazz also have a point to prove after back-to-back losses.

Furkan Korkmaz was the hero as the Philadelphia 76ers preserved their perfect record in the NBA with a dramatic 129-128 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Korkmaz made a clutch three-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining as the unbeaten 76ers improved to 5-0 for the season on Saturday.

The Trail Blazers had led thanks to Anfernee Simons' three 2.2 seconds from the end in Portland, where Korkmaz stepped up by hitting the game-winner as he fell to the floor.

Philadelphia, who trailed by as many as 21 points in the third quarter in the absence of suspended star Joel Embiid, are off to their first 5-0 start since the 2000-01 season.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors fell to 1-5 after losing 93-87 to the Charlotte Hornets.

Golden State tasted defeat in the absence of Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell – who were ruled out on gameday – and Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

 

Wiggins inspires Timberwolves

Andre Wiggins had 21 points as the Minnesota Timberwolves topped the Washington Wizards 131-109 without banned star Karl-Anthony Towns.

Devin Booker led the Phoenix Suns to their fourth win of the season – a 114-105 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies – behind 21 points on eight-of-13 shooting from the field and a perfect three-of-three from three-point range.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 23 points as his team beat the New Orleans Pelicans 115-104.

Both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Eric Bledsoe were close to double-doubles but it was the reigning MVP who stole the show. Antetokounmpo recorded 36 points to lead the Milwaukee Bucks past defending champions the Toronto Raptors 115-105.

 

Poole highlights Warriors' woes

Jordan Poole had just five points on two-of-nine shooting as the Warriors almost pulled off the win.

The Orlando Magic's second unit were barely productive in their 91-87 loss to the Denver Nuggets. D.J. Augustin had just four points and Mo Bamba had only one.

 

Jokic with the fadeaway

Halloween might be over but the Nikola Jokic aka the '"Joker" is here to stay.

The "Greek Freak" does it all, obviously.

 

Saturday's results

Oklahoma City Thunder 115-104 New Orleans Pelicans
Detroit Pistons 113-109 Brooklyn Nets
Denver Nuggets 91-87 Orlando Magic
Milwaukee Bucks 115-105 Toronto Raptors
Phoenix Suns 114-105 Memphis Grizzlies
Minnesota Timberwolves 131-109 Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets 93-87 Golden State Warriors
Philadelphia 76ers 129-128 Portland Trail Blazers

 

Lakers at Spurs

The Los Angeles Lakers are handling the spotlight well and the San Antonio Spurs are heating up. San Antonio toppled the injury-ridden Warriors on Friday behind Patty Mills' 31 points off the bench. All-and-all, it will make for an exciting matchup when the two teams meet for the first time this season at the AT&T Center on Sunday. 

James Harden almost scored 60 points as the Houston Rockets won a high-scoring thriller against the Washington Wizards, while the Golden State Warriors' season went from bad to worse after Stephen Curry broke his hand.

Harden posted 59 points to lead the Rockets to a stunning 159-158 victory over the Wizards in NBA action on Wednesday.

MVP in 2017-18, Harden was 18-of-32 shooting while going 17 of 18 from the free-throw line as the Rockets registered a franchise-record score.

Rockets team-mate Russell Westbrook had another triple-double, scoring 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Wizards star Bradley Beal had 46 points of his own on 14-of-20 shooting, including seven of 12 from beyond the three-point line.

Curry, meanwhile, suffered a broken left hand in Golden State's 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns midweek.

The Warriors star landed heavily on his wrist in the third quarter and did not return as Golden State lost for the first time in four games.

It is another huge blow for the Warriors, who are already without injured All-Star Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant – who left for the Brooklyn Nets.

As for the Los Angeles Clippers, they lost 110-96 to the Utah Jazz after resting superstar Kawhi Leonard.

 

Siakam soars as Raptors roar

Pascal Siakam recorded 30 points for defending champions the Toronto Raptors, who topped the Detroit Pistons 125-113. Andre Drummond had 21 points and 22 rebounds in a losing effort.

Tristan Thompson posted 23 points and 10 rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 117-111 win over the Chicago Bulls.

Nikola Vucevic had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Orlando Magic were 95-83 winners against the New York Knicks.

Kemba Walker put up 32 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Boston Celtics overcame a 19-point deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-105.

 

Wiggins highlights Timberwolves' woes

Andrew Wiggins had decent offensive numbers with 19 points, but the Minnesota Timberwolves were minus-27 with him on the floor in a 117-95 loss to the unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers.

 

Sabonis sizzles

Domantas Sabonis had 29 points and a nifty move to the basket in the Indiana Pacers' 118-108 win over the Nets.

 

Wednesday's results

Philadelphia 76ers 117-95 Minnesota Timberwolves
Cleveland Cavaliers 117-111 Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic 95-83 New York Knicks
Toronto Raptors 125-113 Detroit Pistons
Boston Celtics 116-105 Milwaukee Bucks
Indiana Pacers 118-108 Brooklyn Nets
Portland Trail Blazers 102-99 Oklahoma City Thunder
Houston Rockets 159-158 Washington Wizards
Utah Jazz 110-96 Los Angeles Clippers
Charlotte Hornets 118-111 Sacramento Kings
Phoenix Suns 121-110 Golden State Warriors

 

Nuggets at Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are still trying to get their first win of the season and they welcome a talented and deep Denver Nuggets team for the late game on Thursday.

Trae Young recently told a reporter the Atlanta Hawks will surprise everybody this season.

That's big talk for a player on a team that won only 29 games last season but the Hawks have backed it up so far. They were 2-0 entering Monday's home matchup with the favoured 76ers and they pushed the Eastern Conference title contenders to the buzzer before falling 105-103.

Joel Embiid hit a pair of free throws with just over five seconds remaining to seal the win as the 76ers rallied from eight points down in the final five minutes. Embiid led the way for Philadelphia with 36 points and 13 rebounds as the 76ers (3-0) remain the last unbeaten team in the eastern conference.

But the Hawks once again showed they are much improved from last year. Young had 25 points and nine assists, while John Collins (16 points, eight rebounds) and De’Andre Hunter (14 points, nine rebounds) played well.

De’Andre Hunter nailed a clutch three-point shot off the assist from Vince Carter tonight to finish with 14 points, nine rebounds and the team’s best +/- at +10.

The Hawks eventually lost 105-103, but Young's Hawks continue to be one of the surprises of the early season.

Russ and James lead the way in win over their former side

James Harden scored 40 points and Russell Westbrook scored 21 points, adding 12 rebounds and nine assists to key a 116-112 win over his old team, the Thunder.

Knicks forward Bobby Portis collected 28 points and 11 rebounds with a plus-31 rating in a 105-98 win over the Bulls.

Pistons forward Christian Wood had 19 points and 12 boards in 21 minutes off the bench in a 96-94 win over the Pacers.

JJ has unusually bad night from three-point land

JJ Redick hit only one of his 10 shots as the Pelicans fell to the Warriors.

Ingram gets high and jams

Brandon Ingram drives and extends for a big Pelicans slam.

Kawhi Leonard shows some nice touch around the basket here.

Monday's results

Indiana Pacers 94-96 Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls 98-105 New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers 105-103 Atlanta Hawks
Orlando Magic 95-104 Toronto Raptors
Oklahoma City Thunder 112-116 Houston Rockets
Cleveland Cavaliers 112-129 Milwaukee Bucks
Golden State Warriors 134-123 New Orleans Pelicans
Portland Trail Blazers 110-113 San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz 96-95 Phoenix Suns
Denver Nuggets 101-94 Sacramento Kings
Charlotte Hornets 96-111 Los Angeles Clippers

Mavericks at Nuggets

Young stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are off to hot starts for the Mavericks with averages of more than 26 points per game, while the Nuggets have six players in double figures, led by Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis starred as the Los Angeles Lakers secured back-to-back NBA wins by topping the Charlotte Hornets 120-101.

James and Davis each posted double-doubles to inspire the Lakers against the Hornets in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Lakers superstar James finished with 20 points and 12 assists, while team-mate Davis had a game-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers (2-1).

The Hornets (1-2) were led by Miles Bridges and his 23 points on the road.

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors suffered a crushing 120-92 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The departure of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson's injury have weakened the Warriors significantly as they look to re-assert themselves as title contenders following last season's run to the NBA Finals.

Stephen Curry had 23 points but the Warriors (0-2) still lost to continue their winless start to the season.

 

Irving stars in Nets loss

Kyrie Irving tallied 37 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists as the Brooklyn Nets fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 134-133 after overtime.

CJ McCollum scored 36 points to lift the Portland Trail Blazers past the Dallas Mavericks 121-119.

 

Herro struggles

Tyler Herro made one of his six shots and totalled eight points in the Miami Heats' 116-109 defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

 

Crowder with the buzzer-beating three!

Jae Crowder's overtime game-winner made the FedExForum erupt.

 

Sunday's results

Oklahoma City Thunder 120-92 Golden State Warriors
Memphis Grizzlies 134-133 Brooklyn Nets (OT)
Minnesota Timberwolves 116-109 Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers 121-119 Dallas Mavericks
Los Angeles Lakers 120-101 Charlotte Hornets

 

Nuggets at Kings

The Denver Nuggets have had early success, while the Sacramento Kings are trying to find their footing, but both teams are chock full of young talent. There will be exciting matchups to key in on across the board during the game.

Draymond Green did not hold back after the Golden State Warriors suffered another blowout loss to start the NBA season, saying "we f****** suck right now".

The Warriors – who made the NBA Finals for a fifth straight year last season – fell to 0-2 following Sunday's comprehensive 120-92 defeat at the rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder.

Playing without injured star Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, who departed for the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State were no match for Oklahoma City as the Thunder (1-2) raced out to a stunning 70-37 half-time lead.

Stephen Curry led the woeful Warriors with 23 points after his team-mates made just 23 of 74 shots, while offseason recruit D'Angelo Russell was ejected in the third quarter for arguing with an official.

All-Star Gren told reporters: "I would like to see us play harder. But the reality is, we f****** suck right now.

"[It] sucks. But I guess just about everybody except Tim Duncan has been through it. But it sucks pretty bad.

"I didn't have this feeling that it would be like this. I kinda figured like, it won't be the same, but I didn't think we'd be getting our a** kicked like this. It's pretty bad."

It has been an embarrassing start to the season for the reigning Western Conference champions after forgettable defeats to the Los Angeles Clippers and Thunder.

However, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr still managed to crack a joke about his team's performance in Oklahoma City.

 "I'm looking forward to the Modelo [beer] that's waiting in my locker," Kerr said.

The Dallas Mavericks improved to 2-0 on Friday as they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 123-116 thanks to the continued excellence of Luka Doncic.

Last year's Rookie of the Year notched his ninth career triple-double with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. No player in NBA history has recorded more career triple-doubles before the age of 21.

Doncic and the Mavericks trailed by 14 at the end of the first quarter, but he piled it on in the final three and sank some tough shots en route to the win.

Kristaps Porzingis also had a strong showing for Dallas with 24 points and an impressive five blocks.

The Pelicans were led by Brandon Ingram's 25 points while Lonzo Ball, Derrick Favors, Josh Hart and Frank Jackson also reached double-figures.

Dallas have playoff aspirations this year in a loaded Western Conference while New Orleans (0-2) have lost two close games and are looking to figure things out with their new group.

  KAT goes big for second consecutive game

Karl-Anthony Towns had 37 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 121-99 win against the Charlotte Hornets.

Damian Lillard tallied 35 points, five rebounds, and five assists as the Portland Trail Blazers topped the Sacramento Kings 122-112.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 28 points in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 97-85 loss to the Washington Wizards.

  Jrue continues slow start

Jrue Holiday made two of his 11 shot attempts against Dallas and finished with eight points.

The Denver Nuggets' Monte Morris missed all six of his shot attempts against the Phoenix Suns and was held scoreless in his team's 108-107 win.

  Dame still has range

Damian Lillard scored 35 points on three from seven shooting from outside the arc.

 

Friday's results

Toronto Raptors 106-112 Boston Celtics
Minnesota Timberwolves 121-99 Charlotte Hornets
New York Knicks 109-113 Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls 110-102 Memphis Grizzlies
Dallas Mavericks 123-116 New Orleans Pelicans
Washington Wizards 97-85 Oklahoma City Thunder
Phoenix Suns 107-108 Denver Nuggets
Portland Trail Blazers 122-112 Sacramento Kings
Utah Jazz 86-95 Los Angeles Lakers

Magic at Hawks

These two up-and-coming teams in the Eastern Conference are loaded with young talent. Trae Young and company will face an Orlando Magic team that made the playoffs last year and now have a budding Markelle Fultz at their disposal. It should make for a fun contest.

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.

The offseason has been all about the major moves.

Kawhi Leonard left the Raptors after delivering an NBA title to Toronto, Anthony Davis linked up with Lakers star LeBron James in Los Angeles, while Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both wound up at the Brooklyn Nets.

However, we take a look at some of the under-the-radar aspects of the 2019-20 season - from rotations you might not think about to potential Sixth Man of the Year contenders.

TEAMS

Utah Jazz - The Jazz have been to the playoffs in each of the last three seasons after finishing fifth in the stacked Western Conference on each occasion.

But there may not have been a move that went more unnoticed than Bojan Bogdanovic signing in Utah, and there may be no move that will quietly have a big impact than Mike Conley arriving in a trade.

Conley allows Donovan Mitchell to play off the ball, which makes him better, and Bogdanovic adds another layer of scoring to a team that really struggled to put the ball in the basket when Mitchell was off his shooting game last season. This team has a real chance to win the West and still no one is paying much attention.

Miami Heat - Any team that adds Jimmy Butler instantly becomes competitive. The Heat needed to start anew after the first and second eras of Dwyane Wade, and Butler could be just the guy to do that.

Add Tyler Herro to the mix to give Miami some much-needed shooting and a bigger role for Bam Adebayo in the middle after the departure of Hassan Whiteside and this team is at the least interesting, at the most a contender for a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference.

PLAYERS

Bogdan Bogdanovic - Bogdanovic often gets lost in the shuffle on a team with good, young talent, but he is the sparkplug that makes the Kings' second unit go.

He might not average 25 points a game, but he is more than capable of putting up a 25-point performance off the bench on a regular basis, and that probably is why the Kings are reportedly offering him a max contract extension as he will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

Jrue Holiday - It's hard to be under the radar if you're an All-Star and a two-time NBA All-Defensive member, but everyone seems to forget about Holiday.

He is now the alpha dog on a New Orleans Pelicans team that lost Davis, and he is coming off a career year. 

Holiday could easily one-up himself this season and maybe even get the Pelicans fighting for a playoff spot with a good young core of Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball now in the fold.

ROTATIONS

Oklahoma City Thunder - The Thunder have been understandably written off after trading Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets and Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, but this team could actually be pretty exciting this year.

In acquiring Chris Paul, the Thunder have an All-Star point guard who can get the ball to Steven Adams for some easy dunks in the pick-and-roll.

Then adding guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who is a very exciting young player, and Danilo Gallinari, who has always been entertaining, gives the Thunder a very interesting starting rotation. Then add guys off the bench like Dennis Schroder and Hamidou Diallo and Oklahoma City fans certainly will have something to cheer for this season.

It should be noted though that is all on paper as the Thunder may try to move Adams and Paul as they try to rebuild, but for now the team should be fun to watch early in the season. We'll see if that translates into wins though.

Atlanta Hawks - No one will pay attention to the Hawks until they get a few more years into this rebuild, but like the Thunder, Atlanta has some fun pieces to watch and build around.

Trae Young very well could have won Rookie of the Year last season, John Collins had an argument to be an All-Star and Kevin Huerter became a good rotation player by the end of the season. Add rookies De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish into the fold along with veteran Evan Turner and this team looks like it will be more competitive this season. We'll see how the depth does in the long run though.

Russell Westbrook and James Harden will be team-mates once again in this NBA season, and the Houston Rockets pair have certainly evolved since their days together at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It has been seven years since Westbrook and Harden wore the same NBA uniform, a series-deciding Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals when the duo each scored 19 points.

Harden's contribution came from the bench - as it often did that season - and he soon moved to Houston to become the main man, a distinction he will be expected to keep despite Westbrook's arrival this offseason.

Here, using Stats Perform data, we look at how productive Westbrook and Harden were together in OKC, and how their roles have changed since.

 

A PRODUCTIVE PARTNERSHIP

In their final year together with the Thunder in 2011-12, Westbrook had the best season of his career in terms of field goal percentage (45.7 per cent), while Harden had what remains his best campaign in terms of both field goal percentage (49.1 per cent) and three-pointers made (39 per cent).

Ten-time All-Star Kevin Durant was on the roster then too, of course, but a deeper dive into the numbers shows just how much better offensively the Thunder were in that campaign when Westbrook and Harden shared the floor.

Per 100 possessions, they averaged more points (113.8 to 102.8), more offensive rebounds (13.2 to 10.2), more assists (19.4 to 19.2) and scored more points off fast breaks (17.7 to 16.0).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was a drop-off defensively when Westbrook and Harden were on court together, as OKC conceded more points on average per 100 possessions (103.4 to 97.8).

HARDEN: FROM SIXTH MAN TO MAIN MAN

In the 2011-12 season, Harden's last with the Thunder, 'The Beard' was voted the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year for his performances off the bench, when he averaged 16.8 points per game.

That first year in Houston, Harden averaged a whopping 25.9 points per game – the increase of 9.1 representing the fourth-largest jump of all time among players who switched teams after averaging at least 15 points per game in the previous season.

Moreover, among all Sixth Man of the Year winners, Harden has the five highest scoring seasons of all time - including last term, when he poured in 2,818 points in 78 games at a staggering average of 36.1.

ALL-ROUND RUSS

It was after Durant's departure for the Golden State Warriors in 2016 when Westbrook ascended from second fiddle to superstar.

Westbrook's numbers greatly improved in his first year without Harden and Durant. He averaged 31.6 points per game (up from 23.5 in the previous season), 10.7 rebounds per game (up from 7.8 in the previous season) and 10.4 assists per game (the same as the previous season).

That season - when Westbrook was named the league's MVP - he averaged a triple-double, a feat he also achieved in the following two campaigns, despite Paul George's presence on the Thunder's roster between 2017 and 2019.

Last season, Westbrook only tried 28.7 shots per 100 possessions when George was out, down from 35 attempts in 2017-18.

Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti refuted any negative sentiment towards former star Kevin Durant.

Presti addressed Durant's criticism of how bad the split was when it comes to the Thunder's fan base – the two-time NBA champion left Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

Durant went as far as saying he did not trust anyone at the Thunder and "that s*** must have been fake". 

The two-time NBA Finals MVP called out the franchise and Presti saying, "I ain't talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left".

However, Thunder GM Presti told reporters: "If there is anything that Kevin Durant ever, ever needed from me or from anyone here, it would be a moment's notice for that to happen.

"I also think if you work with people for eight years like we did, he and I — he was 19 when he came into the NBA, I was 29. We both went through a lot of changes together, and I have nothing but positive things to say about him and his tenure here.

"You've asked me that in the past. You've asked me that today. You can ask me that in the future if something like this comes up again. I'm never going to change that tune because that's how I feel."

Durant spent nine seasons with the Thunder before becoming a free agent and signing with the Warriors.

The 10-time All-Star ended up playing three seasons with the Warriors, earning back-to-back NBA titles, but signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency over the offseason. He is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season with a torn Achilles.

"I would always be there if he needed anything from me, and I truthfully believe ... it would be reciprocated, as well," Presti added.

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