Ballin is back! We’ll usually limit it to five games, but the season just started, and we’re all excited, so …
Sacramento 90, Denver 88: Jason Thompson dunked back this DeMarcus Cousins miss in the final minute and the Kings beat the unrecognizable Nuggets. Denver started Anthony Randolph, JJ Hickson and Randy Foye. Eleven players saw action for injury-riddled Denver, playing anywhere from 10-36 minutes.
Toronto 93, Boston 87: Brad Stevens lost his debut, but he didn’t have Rajon Rondo and thus the Celtics turned the ball over 22 times.
Minnesota 120, Orlando 115, OT: Kevin Love’s 3-pointer with :10 left sent the game to overtime, and the Wolves prevailed at home. Love went for 31 points and 17 rebounds and Kevin Martin added 23 points for the Wolves in his debut. The Magic fell to 0-2. Oladipo watch? Fourteen points on 14 shots in 37 minutes.
New York 90, Milwaukee 83: The Knicks raced to a 25-point halftime lead, then held on in the final four minutes after the Bucks tied the game at 80. I feel like I should note that rookie Nate Wolters played 30 minutes for the Bucks and shot 3-for-12. Guess he’s going to get a lot of burn this year.
Golden State 125, LA Lakers 94: Klay Thompson isn’t a bad shooter – 15-of-19 from the field (5-of-7 from three) for 38 points in 31 minutes. David Lee chipped in 24 points and MY Warriors looked as deep and deadly as I thought they’d be.
Detroit 113, Washington 102: Greg Monroe (24-16) and Josh Smith (19-5-5) outdueled John Wall (20 points, 11 assists) and Trevor Ariza (28 points). The Detroit frontcourt is … nice?
Cleveland 98, Brooklyn 94: Kyrie Irving had 15-9-7 and some important free throws in the final :20 as the Cavaliers opened their quest for their first playoff berth post-LeBron with a nice win over the rebuilt Nets. A healthy (!) Andrew Bynum played eight minutes for Cleveland; the No. 1 pick in the draft, Anthony Bennett, played 15 and missed all five of his shot attempts. Kevin Garnett scored just eight points in his Brooklyn debut; Paul Pierce had 17.
Indiana 95, New Orleans 90: The Pacers are 2-0 thanks to 32 points from Paul George and a timely 3-pointer in the final minute by George Hill. Anthony Davis had a strong opening night performance: 20 points, 12 rebounds and this alley-oop slam. Davis had more offensive rebounds (7) than the Pacers did (6).
Oklahoma City 101, Utah 98: Without Russell Westbrook, it’ll be the Kevin Durant show, obviously – 42 points, (22-24 FTs). Point guard-less Utah (John Lucas III?) was led by Alec Burks, who took flight and scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half.
Houston 96, Charlotte 83: Nothing much to say about the Bobcats, but Dwight Howard stole the show, anyway – 17 points, 26 rebounds. For those wondering about Jeremy Lin losing his point guard spot to Patrick Beverly — Lin played 31 minutes and had 16 points; Beverly played just 10 minutes.