Eleven games of NBA action on Wednesday night mean our morning round-up is split into two parts. Here’s everything that went on in the Eastern Conference, featuring a wild double-overtime game at Madison Square Garden, a ridiculous Lonzo Ball stat line and the Sixers getting it done without Ben Simmons.
Game of the Night: Boston Celtics 134-138 New York Knicks (2OT)
Evan Fournier made the go-ahead three-pointer in the second overtime period and added 32 against his former team, as the New York Knicks outlasted Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics 138-134 on Wednesday night.
Julius Randle, picking up where he left off last season, had 35 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for the Knicks.
Brown scored a career-high 46 points after overcoming a bout of COVID-19 and Jayson Tatum had the biggest basket of a rocky opener for him with a three-point play that gave Boston a 134-133 lead with only 1:05 remaining.
Fournier then hit his fourth three-pointer of overtime with 56 seconds to go and Derrick Rose finished it off with a basket with 22 seconds to play as the Knicks finally put away a game they seemed to have won much earlier.
Play of the Night: Marcus Smart
Marcus Smart had originally tied the game at the end of regulation with this cool as a cucumber three-pointer. So good it warrants the rare Mike Breen ‘Bang! Bang!’ to go with it.
Dunk of the Night: Obi Toppin
Just watch this gorgeous alley-oop pass from Rose and listen to the roar from Madison Square Garden as Toppin applies the finish.
Performance of the Night: LaMelo Ball
Last season’s Rookie of the Year had 31 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and made 7-9 three-pointers as the Charlotte Hornets managed to hold off the Indiana Pacers 123-122.
Domantas Sabonis, the crafty Lithuanian power forward, also filled up the stat sheet for the Pacers with 33 points and 15 rebounds but missed a potential game-winning 11-footer at the death.
LaVine still the star for new-look Chicago Bulls
Zach LaVine had 34 points, seven rebounds and four assists and the visiting Chicago Bulls opened their season with a 94-88 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Chicago has defeated its Central Division rival eight consecutive times so this result was perhaps no surprise as both teams started their campaigns.
DeMar DeRozan, making his franchise debut, supplied 17 points, seven rebounds and three steals, while the other sign-and-trade arrival Lonzo Ball chipped in 12 points and four assists.
Nikola Vucevic, as consistent a double-double threat in the league as anyone, added 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Wizards spoil Raptors homecoming
In the first game at the Scotiabank Arena for the Toronto Raptors since February 28, 2020 – a full 600 days – Bradley Beal scored 23 points and the visiting Washington Wizards won 98-83 to put a dampener on celebrations.
Montrezl Harrell added 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Wizards, who led by as many as 29 points during the third quarter.
Spencer Dinwiddie added 13 points and Kyle Kuzma had 11 points and 15 rebounds on their Washington debuts. Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes each had 12 points for the Raptors, while London-born OG Anunoby had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Sixers get it done without Simmons
Four Philadelphia 76ers players scored over 20 points as they defeated the Zion Williamson-less New Orleans Pelicans 117-97 in their season opener.
Putting the off-court distraction of Ben Simmons behind them, Tyrese Maxey (20 points), Tobias Harris (20), Joel Embiid (22) and new-signing Furkan Korkmaz (22) all shared the scoring load as the Sixers eased to victory.
Another debutante, Andre Drummond, swallowed up 17 rebounds in only 19 minutes off the bench.
Wednesday night’s results
|Indiana Pacers 122 – 123 Charlotte Hornets|
|Chicago Bulls 94 – 88 Detroit Pistons|
|Boston Celtics 134 – 138 New York Knicks (2OT)|
|Washington Wizards 98 – 83 Toronto Raptors|
|Cleveland Cavaliers 121 – 132 Memphis Grizzlies|
|Houston Rockets 106 – 124 Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Philadelphia 76ers 117 – 97 New Orleans Pelicans|
|Orlando Magic 97 – 123 San Antonio Spurs|
|Oklahoma City Thunder 86 – 107 Utah Jazz|
|Denver Nuggets 110 – 98 Phoenix Suns|
|Sacramento Kings 124 – 121 Portland Trail Blazers|
The Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers were both also in action, but you can find their games over in the Western Conference report.