DeMar DeRozan had 28 points in his San Antonio debut, LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points and 19 rebounds and the Spurs overcame a 23-point performance by Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler in a 112-108 victory Wednesday night in a matchup of teams coming off a tumultuous offseason.
DeRozan was acquired from Toronto after the Spurs responded to Kawhi Leonard’s trade demands by dealing their star forward and Danny Green for the Raptors’ All-Star guard and Jakob Poeltl.
Minnesota is facing a similar trade demand from Butler, who has opted to play through it. Butler, who has told Minnesota that he will not resign with the team in the offseason, added seven rebounds and three assists in an active 31 minutes.
DeRozan banked in the eventual winning shot in the final minute against Butler, driving hard to the basket against the 6-foot-8 forward and then pulling up from 12 feet to give San Antonio a 110-108 lead with 32.4 seconds remaining. DeRozan sealed the victory with a pair of free throws with 7.8 seconds remaining after Minnesota’s Derrick Rose missed a runner in lane.
Jeff Teague scored 27 points, and Andrew Wiggins added 20 points for the Timberwolves.
Rudy Gay had 18 points, and Bryn Forbes had 11 points in his first start at point guard for the Spurs.
at Knicks 126, Hawks 107: Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 31 points, sparking the Knicks during their franchise-record, 49-point second quarter, and New York beat Atlanta in its first game under coach David Fizdale.
Hardaway had 16 points in the period, when the Knicks matched the Hawks’ point total for the entire first half. New York led 72-49 at the break.
Trae Young finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, shooting 5 for 14 in his NBA debut. Taurean Prince scored 21 points for the Hawks, who were overwhelmed in their first game under Lloyd Pierce. Four other Knicks scored at least 15, while rookie Kevin Knox finished with 10 and was just 4 for 16.
Hardaway and the Knicks started slowly, as he had missed his first four shots and the Knicks started 0 for 9 when they took a timeout trailing 10-2. During that break, George Holmes of Northport, New York, nailed a halfcourt shot to win $10,000, and suddenly the New Yorkers couldn’t miss.
Pelicans 131, at Rockets 112: Anthony Davis had 32 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists, and Nikola Mirotic scored 30 points to lead New Orleans past Houston.
Davis added three blocks and three steals, Mirotic was 6 of 8 from 3-point range, and Julius Randle had 25 points off the bench.
Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 21 points off the bench, and P.J. Tucker and Chris Paul each added 19 points. James Harden had 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
Bucks 113, at Hornets 112: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 18 rebounds and eight assists, and Milwaukee spoiled Charlotte’s celebration of 30 years of basketball.
Antetokounmpo made two free throws with 23.7 seconds remaining to put the Bucks ahead after the Hornets battled back from a 20-point deficit behind 41 points from Kemba Walker.
Walker missed a driving layup with 3.4 seconds left and the loose ball got kicked outside where Nic Batum misfired on a 3-pointer from the left wing at the buzzer.
Khris Middleton had 19 points and Eric Bledsoe added 17 as the Bucks.
Walker was 15 of 29 from the field, hitting seven 3-pointers.
at Pacers 111, Grizzlies 83: Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points and Victor Oladipo added 16 to help Indiana rout Memphis in the largest-opening night victory margin in the franchise’s NBA era.
Domantas Sabonis finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds as Indiana earned its seventh opening-night win eight years. The Pacers also have won eight of their last nine home openers.
Marc Gasol scored 13 points for Memphis.
at Raptors 116, Cavaliers 104: Kawhi Leonard had 24 points and 12 rebounds in his Toronto debut, Kyle Lowry scored 27 points and the Raptors beat Cleveland.
Fred VanVleet scored 14 points, Pascal Siakam had 13 and Danny Green 11 to help the Raptors win their sixth straight season opener and give Nick Nurse a victory in his first game as head coach.
Kevin Love scored 21 points, and Cedi Osman had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
at Pistons 103, Nets 100: Andre Drummond had 24 points and 20 rebounds, and Detroit won its opener under new coach Dwane Casey.
Blake Griffin added 26 points for the Pistons, who were without two potential starters but still managed to hold off Brooklyn. Caris LeVert equaled a career high with 27 points for the Nets, and he drove to the basket in the final seconds with Brooklyn down one. LeVert lost the ball, and it went out of bounds to Detroit. Reggie Jackson made two free throws for the Pistons with 6.2 seconds remaining, and Joe Harris missed from near the top of the key at the other end.
at Magic 104, Heat 101: Rookie Mohamed Bamba dunked twice and blocked a shot during Orlando’s 9-0 run in the fourth quarter and the Magic held off Miami.
Aaron Gordon had 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Magic. They went without a field goal over the final 4 1/2 minutes. Goran Dragic led Miami with 26 points, and Josh Richardson had 21.
Jazz 123, at Kings 117: Donovan Mitchell scored 11 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and Utah overcame an uneven performance on both ends of the floor to beat Sacramento in the season opener for both teams.
Rudy Gobert had 19 points and 15 rebounds, Joe Ingles scored 22 and Derrick Favors added 18 points and nine boards as the Jazz won their sixth straight against the Kings.
Utah trailed by 16 early in the first quarter, blew a 14-point lead in the third and then pulled away in the fourth.
Seven players scored in double figures for Utah.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 23 points and seven rebounds for Sacramento. De’Aaron Fox added 21 points and seven assists.
Marvin Bagley III, the second overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, had six points and five rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench for the Kings.
at Suns 121, Mavericks 100: Devin Booker scored 19 of his 35 points in the final 6:44 and lifted Phoenix over Dallas in the teams’ season opener.
Booker, who missed the preseason after undergoing a surgical procedure on his right (shooting) hand, sank four 3s, converted a three-point play, made a driving layup and hit two free throws after Dallas had cut what had been a 16-point lead to four.
Two of the NBA’s top rookies squared off in their debuts with different results.
Deandre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, made 8 of 11 shots for 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had six assists. Dallas’ Luka Doncic, the No. 3 overall pick, struggled from the field, making 5 of 16 shots — 0 of 5 3-pointers — for 10 points. He had four assists and eight rebounds.
Trevor Ariza added 21 points, Josh Jackson 18 and T.J. Warren 17 for the Suns, who gave Igor Kokoskov a victory in his NBA head coaching debut.