DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 28 points in his San Antonio debut, and four of his teammates scored in double figures as the host Spurs held off the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-108 Wednesday in one of 11 of the night’s season openers.
DeRozan, acquired in the offseason trade that sent Kawhi Leonard to Toronto, scored the final four points of the game after Minnesota rallied for a 108-108 tie on Jimmy Butler’s 3-pointer in the final minute.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points and a game-high 19 rebounds for the Spurs, who also received 18 points from Rudy Gay.
Butler, who was away from the team for much of the preseason after requesting a trade, was in the starting lineup and scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 31 minutes. Jeff Teague led the Timberwolves with 27 points, and Andrew Wiggins added 20.
Raptors 116, Cavaliers 104
Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in his Toronto debut in defeating visiting Cleveland.
Kyle Lowry had 27 points and eight assists for the Raptors. Fred VanVleet added 14 points, Pascal Siakam had 13 points and Danny Green chipped in with 11. Jonas Valanciunas grabbed 12 rebounds. Leonard and Green were acquired by Toronto from the Spurs in a July trade.
Kevin Love scored 21 points and added seven rebounds for the Cavaliers, and Cedi Osman had 17 points and 10 rebounds. George Hill and Jordan Clarkson each added 15 points, and Rodney Hood scored 12.
Pelicans 131, Rockets 112
Anthony Davis had 32 points and 16 rebounds, and Elfrid Payton had a triple-double as retooled New Orleans routed host Houston.
Payton, one of two key offseason acquisitions, had 10 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, and the other key pick-up, forward Julius Randle, had 25 points off the bench. Nikola Mirotic added 30 points, including 6 of 8 3-pointers, and 10 rebounds, E’Twaun Moore scored 21 points and Jrue Holiday had 10.
Eric Gordon came off the bench to lead the Houston with 21 points, and PJ Tucker and Chris Paul had 19 points each. James Harden (18 points, 10 assists) fell a rebound shy of a triple-double. Carmelo Anthony finished with nine points off the bench in his Houston debut.
Bucks 113, Hornets 112
Giannis Antetokounmpo came within two assists of a triple-double as Milwaukee, in Mike Budenholzer’s first game as coach, held on to defeat host Charlotte, with James Borrego debuting as its coach.
Antetokounmpo, who finished with 25 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists, hit two free throws with 23.7 seconds remaining to give the Bucks the lead for good at 113-112. The Bucks then held on as Charlotte’s Kemba Walker missed a short jumper and Nicolas Batum missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
The Bucks led by as many as 20 on several occasions in the first half but had to come from behind in the final minute after Walker, who scored 41 points, rallied the Hornets. He hit two free throws with 36.3 seconds left for a 112-111 Charlotte lead.
Knicks 126, Hawks 107
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 of his game-high 31 points during host New York’s 49-point second quarter in an easy win over Atlanta.
Hardaway led a whopping seven players in double figures for the Knicks. Enes Kanter (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Noah Vonleh (12 points, 10 rebounds) had double-doubles while Trey Burke, Mario Hezonja and Allonzo Trier had 15 points each. Rookie first-round pick Kevin Knox added 10 points on 4-for-16 shooting in his NBA debut.
Taurean Prince led the Hawks with 21 points, Kent Bazemore and rookie Trae Young added 14 points apiece and 41-year-old Vince Carter, the oldest player in the NBA, chipped in 12 points. Jeremy Lin, the one-time Knicks phenom, scored eight points in his return to Madison Square Garden.
Pistons 103, Nets 100
Andre Drummond totaled 24 points, 20 rebounds and came up with a significant defensive play in the final seconds as Detroit held off visiting Brooklyn to make a winner of new coach Dwane Casey.
Drummond produced his 52nd career 20-20 game, but it was his defense that gave the Pistons a win in Casey’s debut with the team. With 15 seconds to play, the Pistons held a 101-100 lead and the Nets had a chance to go ahead, but Drummond forced a turnover.
After Drummond’s defensive stand, Reggie Jackson hit two free throws with 6.2 seconds left. The Nets’ Joe Harris missed a well-contested 3-pointer from the top of the key, and Blake Griffin secured the rebound. Griffin led the Pistons with 26 points while adding eight rebounds and six assists, while Brooklyn’s Caris LeVert led all scorers with 27.
Pacers 111, Grizzlies 83
Indiana held Memphis to 18 points in the first 17 minutes of its season, running off to a big lead and coasting to victory in Indianapolis.
Bojan Bogdanovic hit his first six shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, en route to a team-high 19 points, and Victor Oladipo added 16 as the Pacers blew out a Grizzlies team they had struggled to sweep in the two-game season series last year.
Despite missing nine of his 11 shots, Marc Gasol led Memphis with 13 points.
Magic 104, Heat 101
Aaron Gordon had 26 points and 16 rebounds, leading host Orlando past Miami.
With the Heat trailing by one point and just 2.3 seconds left, Miami’s Josh Richardson stepped out of bounds while trying to make a baseline drive, allowing Orlando to hold on for the win.
Gordon made 9 of 18 shots from the floor, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Magic backup center Mohamed Bamba, the sixth player selected in the 2018 NBA Draft, had 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in his league debut.
Jazz 123, Kings 117
Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points while Joe Ingles added 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, lifting Utah to a victory at Sacramento.
Rudy Gobert added 19 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks for the Jazz. Derrick Favors chipped in 18 points and nine rebounds. Utah overcame a 16-point first-half deficit behind 39 bench points — 13 apiece for Alec Burks, Dante Exum and Jae Crowder — and 48.1 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.
Willie Cauley-Stein scored 23 points to lead the Kings. De’Aaron Fox added 21 points, Buddy Hield chipped in 19, and Nemanja Bjelica had 18.
Suns 121, Mavericks 100
Devin Booker poured in 19 of his game-high 35 points during the crucial fourth quarter, including 14 in a row, as host Phoenix staved off Dallas. The new-look Suns trailed just once in the game, 2-0.
Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton started his NBA career with a double-double, notching 18 points, on 8-of-11 shooting, and 10 rebounds while adding six assists and a steal. Free agent signee Trevor Ariza scored 21 points and drained five 3-pointers as the Suns hit 19 of 34 from beyond the arc.
Dallas, just 10 of 33 from behind the arc, was led by reserve forward Dwight Powell’s 16 points. His eight fourth-quarter points finally sparked the Mavs, who trailed 99-94 with five minutes to play before getting outscored 22-6.
Nuggets 107, Clippers 98
Nikola Jokic scored 21 points, including a tiebreaking put-back with 1:24 left, and Denver rallied to win at Los Angeles.
Gary Harris had 20 points, and Will Barton scored 19 for the Nuggets, who scored eight straight points in the final 90 seconds to pull away for the victory.
Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Boban Marjanovic scored 18 points, and Danilo Gallinari finished with 16 points before fouling out.
—Field Level Media