NBA: James Harden records triple-double in Brooklyn Nets debut; Toronto Raptors beat Charlotte Hornets
DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, Dejounte Murray had 18 points and 10 rebounds and San Antonio Spurs beat Houston Rockets to snap a four-game home losing streak.
James Harden delivered 32 points and a triple-double in his Brooklyn debut, Kevin Durant scored a season-high 42 points in his first game back with his former teammate, and the Nets showed off their potent in a 122-115 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
Harden had 14 assists and 12 rebounds after being cleared to play earlier in the afternoon after all the players in the blockbuster trade that brought him from Houston had completed their physicals. Harden also had nine turnovers.
He had no practice time with the Nets and sure didn’t need it, becoming the first player in franchise history to have a triple-double in his debut.
Durant made five 3-pointers in his 10th game back following an 18-month layoff after rupturing his Achilles tendon in the 2019 NBA Finals. He hiked his average to 30.7 points, which would be his highest since he scored a league-leading 32 per game and won NBA MVP honors for Oklahoma City in 2014.
Nikola Vucevic had 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the short-handed Magic. They have lost five straight.
SPURS 103, ROCKETS 91
DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points, Dejounte Murray had 18 points and 10 rebounds and San Antonio beat undermanned Houston to snap a four-game home losing streak.
Coming off a victory Thursday night in San Antonio, Houston was on the brink of not having eight players available as required by the league, but met the minimum in the final hour. The Rockets had seven healthy players after Sterling Brown was ruled out due to a lower leg injury, but Rodions Kurucs became eligible prior to game time when the NBA approved the blockbuster trade involving James Harden.
Christian Wood had 24 points and 17 rebounds for Houston, and Mason Jones had a season-high 24 points. Ben McLemore had a season-high 21 points.
GRIZZLIES 106, 76ERS 104
Ja Morant scored 17 points in his return after missing eight games because of a left ankle injury, helping Memphis beat Philadelphia.
Philadelphia’s Tyrese Maxey missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Morant also had six assists. Rookie Xavier Tillman added 15 points, and Grayson Allen had 12 as the Grizzlies won their fourth straight game.
Shake Milton for 28 points for the 76ers. Ben Simmons fell just short of a triple-double with 11 points, a season-high 16 rebounds and nine assists.
PISTONS 120, HEAT 100
Jerami Grant scored 24 points, Derrick Rose had 23 off the bench and Detroit handed Miami its third consecutive loss.
Blake Griffin scored 15 points for Detroit, which outscored Miami 38-19 in the third quarter to turn a four-point halftime deficit into a game fully under Pistons control. It was the biggest margin the Pistons outscored an opponent by in their last 331 quarters, going back to April 9, 2019.
Bam Adebayo scored 28 points for Miami.
The teams meet again Monday in Miami.
RAPTORS 116, HORNETS 113
Chris Boucher, Kyle Lowry and Fred Van Fleet converted eight straight free throws in the final two minutes, helping Toronto beat Charlotte for its first winning streak of the season.
Norman Powell led the Raptors with 24 points, and Boucher added 20 points and nine rebounds.
Gordon Heyward scored 25 points and Terry Rozier had 24 for the Hornets.
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NBA players are apparently not easily impressed — even by other NBA players.
James was the top overall vote-getter from fans with 5,922,554 to pace the Western Conference while Brooklyn forward Durant led the Eastern Conference with 5,567,106.
Kyrie Irving had 16 points and seven rebounds as Brooklyn easily won this matchup of NBA title contenders and improved to 4-0 on a five-game West Coast trip with Kevin Durant missing his third straight game with a strained left hamstring.