Houston 105, Detroit 96: James Harden had one helluva debut for the Rockets: 37 points, 12 assists and most importantly, a victory on the road. There are 81 games left, but on this night, Harden looked like a candidate to lead the league in scoring and be a No. 1 option on an NBA team. Carlos Delfino added 15 points (all on 3-pointers) for the Rockets, who were down 11 headed into the 4th and then owned the Pistons (33-15). Let’s not forget stat-sheet stuffer Jeremy Lin: 12 points, eight assists, four steals, four rebounds.
Philadelphia 84, Denver 75: Spencer Hawes had a 2nd half block party, and the 76ers turned back the mighty Nuggets to the delight of Reggie Miller. It should be noted that Gallinari didn’t play. Hawes (16 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks) was a factor in the middle with Andrew Bynum not playing. Andre Iduodala had a quiet night (11 points) in his return to Philly.
New Orleans 95, San Antonio 99: Anthony Davis had a terrific debut (21 points), but Al-Farouq Aminu stole the show with 17 points, including these two nasty dunks. “Gimmie a break!” yelled the announcer. Twenty-year old Austin Rivers had a rough season opener: 1-for-9 shooting, three turnovers, three fouls.
Golden State 87, Phoenix 85: The Warriors tried their best to lose to the Suns – David Lee and Stephen Curry were a combined 4-for-30 shooting – but the bench propelled them to victory. Newbie Carl Landry scored 17 points and Brandon Rush tallied 14. Phoenix drafted point guard Kendall Marshall in the lottery, and he registered a DNP.
LA Clippers 101, Memphis 92: Just like the playoffs last year, the Clippers owned the 4th quarter (28-15) and beat the Grizzlies. Blake Griffin dunked. DeAndre Jordan dunked. But the surprise was Jamal Crawford, who erupted for 29 points off the bench. He gave Rudy Gay the “ankles!” treatment.