Orlando 88, New Jersey 72
Studs: Every Magic starter ended in double figures led by Dwight Howard with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Matt Barnes also played well, tallying 13 points and 13 rebounds as Orlando handed the Nets their 9th straight loss to open the season. Rafer Alston became the second player of the season (LeBron James) to record a triple-double, posting 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists for New Jersey.
Duds: Howard's presence frustrated Brook Lopez all game long. The Nets' second-year center shot just 1-for-12, while rookie Terrence Williams was 3-for-17 off the bench. J.J. Redick was scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting in 33 minutes for the Magic.
Game Notes: New Jersey shot just 32.9% and recorded only 12 assists, 10 of which belonged to Alston… The Magic will get Rashard Lewis back for their next game against Charlotte on Monday. Orlando needs his shooting badly, they were just 8-for-29 from 3-point range against New Jersey.
Utah 112, Philadelphia 90
Studs: Carlos Boozer picked up the slack for Deron Williams, who missed the game for personal reasons, and Eric Maynor showed that he is a very capable backup. Boozer posted 24 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals; and Maynor added 13 points and 11 assists. Thaddeus Young led the 76ers with 17 points and Andre Iguodala overcame a rough shooting night by tallying 11 points, 7 rebounds, 10 assists, and 4 blocks.
Duds: Lou Williams and Marresse Speights each shot just 33.3% from the floor and committed 4 turnovers apiece in the loss.
Game Notes: The Jazz started a small lineup, which featured two rookies- Maynor and former Marquette standout Wes Matthews… Utah shot over 50% from the field and the 3-point line, and over 90% from the charity stripe. They also committed just 3 first half turnovers.
Golden State 121, New York 107
Studs: Stephen Jackson led the Warriors with 23 points and three others (Monta Ellis, Kelenna Azubuike, and Corey Maggette) scored 22 apiece. C.J. Watson provided a lift as well, shooting 7-for-8 on his way to 19 points. Danilo Gallinari had team-highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks.
Duds: The Knicks starting backcourt of Chris Duhon and Larry Hughes combined to shoot 2-for-13 from the field, with just 8 points in 48 minutes. New York also committed 21 turnovers as a team.
Game Notes: Knicks' guard Nate Robinson returned to the team after missing 6 games with a sprained ankle… The Warriors scored 31 points off New York turnovers and shot a remarkable 58.3% for the game.
Atlanta 97, Boston 86
Studs: Joe Johnson led the Hawks past Boston with 24 points and 7 rebounds, while Al Horford recorded a double-double (12 points and 13 rebounds) and Jamal Crawford put in 18 points off the bench. Paul Pierce matched Johnson with 24 points.
Duds: Boston made just 1-of-15 3-point attempts and managed only 68.4% from the free throw line. Shelden Williams and Eddie House combined to shoot just 2-for-9 off the Celtics' bench.
Game Notes: Atlanta was out-shot 49.3% to 45.2% and outscored in the paint by a margin of 58-44, but won from the free throw line (+4) and the 3-point line (+12). The also won the rebounding battle 47-29… Pierce bruised his knee in the third quarter, but returned to the game.
Portland 86, New Orleans 78
Studs: LaMarcus Aldridge had team-highs with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Brandon Roy added 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Rookies Marcus Thornton and Darren Collison had career-highs 20 and 18 points, respectively for the Hornets.
Duds: Peja Stojakovic was just 1-for-7 and Chris Paul was 1-for-8 before leaving the game with an injury. (More on that in a moment.) Steve Blake was 1-for-7 for the Blazers, as neither team shot better than 38% from the field.
Game Notes: Paul sustained what the team is calling a "severe" ankle sprain. He left in the third quarter and did not return. Paul considers the injury day-to-day, but the team has said he'll miss a week or two… Before the injury, Paul was far from himself. He went scoreless in the first quarter, finally connecting on a pair of free throws late in the second period. He said that playing without ex-coach Byron Scott was "obviously" strange.
Dallas 89, Minnesota 77
Studs: Dirk Nowitzki had game-highs with 20 points and 11 rebounds as Dallas handed the Timberwolves their 9th straight defeat. Shawn Marion (15) and Jason Terry (12) also reached double figures for the Mavs. Jonny Flynn led Minnesota with 11 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals.
Duds: Flynn's backup, Ramon Sessions, was just 1-for-8, and starters Corey Brewer and Ryan Gomes combined to shoot 8-for-25 in the loss.
Game Notes: The Timberwolves were without Al Jefferson, who missed the game for personal reasons. Nathan Jawai started in Jefferson's place, earning his first start with Minnesota. Jason Hart saw his first action of the season, filling Jefferson's roster spot… Nowitzki picked up a technical in the third quarter and immediately went off, posting 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks in the subsequent 7 minutes of action… Minnesota shot 32.6% from the field and 59.3% from the free throw line.
Sacramento 109, Houston 100
Studs: Jason Thompson had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Beno Udrih (22) and Tyreke Evans (20) joined him in the 20s, as the Kings disposed of Houston. Trevor Ariza led the Rockets with 28 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals; and Shane Battier added 23 points in the loss.
Duds: Aaron Brooks was just 4-for-13 and the Rockets' bench combined to shoot 4-for-24 with 12 points. Spencer Hawes was 2-for-11 for Sacramento.
Game Notes: The Kings are now 4-1 at home and have won 4 straight for the first time in 2 seasons. Despite their early success, Sacramento is still struggling to draw fans. Only 11,762 saw this one in person… Houston had 25 fast break points to only 9 for the Kings.
Denver 105, LA Lakers 79
Studs: Carmelo Anthony had 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting and J.R. Smith added 20 off the bench as Denver came from behind to beat the Lakers. Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 15 rebounds to pace L.A.
Duds: Derek Fisher, Josh Powell, Shannon Brown, Luke Walton, Adam Morrison, and Sasha Vujacic combined to shoot 4-for-30 with 8 points in 89 minutes.
Game Notes: The Lakes played strong out of the gates but clearly ran out of gas after playing a tough back-to-back against two of the toughest teams in the Western Conference (Phoenix and Denver). L.A. scored 56 points in the first half, but only 23 in the second, including 0 from Kobe Bryant over the final 24 minutes… 5'10" rookie Ty Lawson dunked on 7-footer D.J. Mbenga.
Toronto 104, LA Clippers 89
Studs: Toronto finished up a tough day for L.A. basketball by dominating the Clippers in the second half. Chris Bosh led the Raptors with 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists. Marco Belinelli added 15 points off Toronto's bench. Chris Kaman led the Clippers with 25 points and 7 rebounds.
Duds: Rasual Butler was just 2-for-10 from the floor and DeAndre Jordan was 1-for-4 from the charity stripe.
Game Notes: Toronto led by as many as 22 points in the second quarter, but outscored the Clippers 59-35 in the second half to win going away... The Clippers missed their last 12 shots and went scoreless over the game's last 6:58.