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  • Costly turnover: Curry fined $50,000 for tossing mouthpiece
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 23, 2017

    Former two-time NBA MVP and Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been fined $50,000 by the league for throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of a referee during Saturday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the NBA announced Monday afternoon.

    • Curry threw his mouthpiece in the direction of a referee in response to a no-call on drive with 43.6 seconds remaining in an eventual 111-101 loss for the Warriors.

      Curry and teammate Kevin Durant were both ejected from the game after arguing with officials about the incident. Durant was not fined.

      "In the grand scheme of things, it's Game 3, we were playing terrible, I was frustrated because I was fouling and I thought I got fouled on the last play. The reaction was definitely a little over the top," Curry said, according to ESPN.

      Golden State forward Andrew Iguodala was also fined $15,000 by the NBA for verbally abusing an official during the incident.

      It is the second instance Curry has been fined by the NBA for throwing his mouthpiece. He was fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece into the crowd and hitting a fan in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

      Curry is averaging 29.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.7 rebounds this season.

  • Suns GM: Bledsoe likely done in Phoenix
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 23, 2017

    Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe was sent home, will not play in Monday night's game against the Sacramento Kings and likely has played his final game for the team, general manager Ryan McDonough told reporters Monday.

    • The Suns met with the 27-year-old Bledsoe before a shootaround Monday morning and he left at the end of the discussion.

      McDonough is actively engaged with several teams in trade talks for Bledsoe, according to multiple reports.

      Monday's meeting occurred a day after the Suns fired coach Earl Watson.

      Bledsoe summed up his frustration in a tweet before Sunday's announcement of the coaching change surfaced: "I Dont wanna be here."

      Bledsoe later tried to put that tweet in context, although McDonough wasn't buying the excuse.

      "He said he was at a hair salon. ... I didn't believe that to be true," McDonough said. "He won't be with us going forward."

      The Suns lost 130-88 on Saturday night to the Los Angeles Clippers, dropping to 0-3 to start the season. It was the Suns' second loss by 40-plus points this season.

      The team announced Sunday night that associate head coach Jay Triano was taking over for Watson as interim head coach.

      Watson was beginning his second full year on the job after being promoted from assistant coach to interim coach when Jeff Hornacek was fired on Feb. 1, 2016. Watson signed a three-year contract as head coach on April 19, 2016. The Suns went 33-85 on his watch.

      "The whole team is embarrassed," Bledsoe said after the loss to the Clippers, then shouldered some of the blame. "I think I have to do a better job of being a leader and a floor general out there."

      Of the Suns' start to the season, Bledsoe said, "It happens, but not to this point."

      Bledsoe is averaging 15.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists for the Suns this season -- his fifth with the team. He is entering his eighth NBA season and owns career averages of 13.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists.

  • NBA roundup: Wolves nip Thunder at buzzer
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- Andrew Wiggins hit 3-pointer as time expired to trump Carmelo Anthony's late triple and lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 115-113 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.

    • Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota (2-1) with 27 points apiece. Towns also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds. Jeff Teague added 19 points and nine assists.

      Anthony finished with 23 points, including his basket with five seconds left, as the Thunder took their second consecutive loss.

      Coming off one of his worst shooting performances in a loss to the Utah Jazz, Russell Westbrook shook off a slow start Sunday night to score 31 points, hand out 10 assists and nearly help the Thunder come back from a dismal start.

      Nets 116, Hawks 104

      NEW YORK -- Allen Crabbe produced 20 points, including the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 4:37 left in the fourth quarter, as Brooklyn beat Atlanta.

      Crabbe, restricted because of an ankle injury, played 25:38 but was highly productive when he was on the court. He played as a reserve and thrived by hitting 7 of 12 shots and four of Brooklyn's 11 3-pointers. The Nets became the first team since the 1988-89 Portland Trail Blazers to score at least 115 points in each of their first three games.

      The Hawks got 19 points from Marco Belinelli and 17 from Dennis Schroder, who left with a bone bruise in his left foot. He doesn't expect to play Monday at Miami, but he doesn't think the injury is serious.

      Pelicans 119, Lakers 112

      LOS ANGELES -- Anthony Davis had 27 points and 17 rebounds, and DeMarcus Cousins finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists to lead New Orleans past Los Angeles.

      E'Twaun Moore added 19 points, and Jrue Holiday and Ian Clark contributed 14 points apiece for the Pelicans.

      Jordan Clarkson scored 24 points off the bench to lead the Lakers. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made his Lakers debut and started at shooting guard after he was suspended the first two games. He finished with 20 points. Kyle Kuzma also scored 20 for Los Angeles, and Lonzo Ball had eight points, eight rebounds, 13 assists and five turnovers.

  • Suns fire Watson after 0-3 start
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    The Phoenix Suns didn't waste any time making a coaching change.

    • Three games into the season, Earl Watson is out as coach and Jay Triano will replace him on an interim basis, the team announced Sunday night.

      The Suns lost their first three games, the latest a 130-88 blowout on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night.

      The Suns' 48-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday was the worst opening-night loss in NBA history.

      Watson's dismissal is the first firing of an NBA head coach since 2016.

      It is the earliest a coach has been ousted during a season in league history. Mike Brown was fired by the Los Angeles Lakers five games into the 2012-13 season.

      "I think that we have to become close as a team," Watson lamented after the 42-point loss Saturday night. "We have to be real about it. We knew with a young team there was going to be adversity, but the part that's most disappointing is the lack of unity."

      Watson lasted 118 games with the Suns and had a 33-85 record. Phoenix finished 24-58 last season. Watson was hired on an interim basis in 2016 after Jeff Hornacek was fired.

      Triano was the associate head coach under Watson. He is expected to remain interim coach for the remainder of the season, ESPN reported.

      In two-plus seasons as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors, Triano compiled an 87-142 record. He also has served as Canada's national coach and for four years as an assistant for the Trail Blazers.

      The Suns, who play the Sacramento Kings on Monday night in Phoenix, are undergoing a massive rebuilding project under general manager Ryan McDonough. The roster includes four rookies and four second-year players.

      One of the Suns' veterans, Eric Bledsoe, tweeted before the firing, "I Don't wanna be here."

  • Mavs, Warriors both aiming to bounce back
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks, losers of their first three games and humiliated in Houston on Saturday night, didn't get any favors from the league's schedule-makers by welcoming the Golden State Warriors to town on the heels of their frustrating loss.

    • The defending champions stand to be in an ornery mood when they enter American Airlines Center for Monday night's matchup. Golden State got throttled at Memphis on Saturday, a game that culminated with Stephen Curry getting ejected for throwing his mouthpiece in the direction of official Scott Wall in disgust over not getting a call.

      Moments later, Kevin Durant got ejected for defending Curry in the eventual 111-101 loss to the Grizzlies. Curry, who scored 37 points but was in foul trouble throughout the Warriors' surprising second defeat in three games, is now waiting for the league to determine if his mouthpiece toss will net a suspension.

      The point guard said he shouldn't have done it and knows it will get him fined. But he told reporters afterward that he doesn't believe it warrants a one-game sit-down.

      "I've thrown my mouthpiece plenty of times and thrown it on the floor," Curry said. "It's probably not the best thing to do, but I've done it. (I) own up to it. I don't think it's a suspension or anything. My pockets will be a lot lighter for sure, though."

      The league might also take a look at Durant's behavior as he exited the floor upon his ejection. He egged-on heckling Grizzlies fans by pointing to his ring finger to remind them he's an NBA champion. Some thought he had given the fans the middle finger, but not so.

      Durant called it "nothing serious" and said it was all in good fun.

      "I did the ring finger," Durant told reporters. "I'm sure everybody thinks I'm the angry black athlete, so I got to put my middle finger up. But nah, I put the ring finger up."

      The Mavs are hopeful they'll get some of their missing backcourt back in action. Rookie of the Year candidate Dennis Smith Jr., has already missed consecutive games because of a left knee effusion, which is swelling because of fluid around the joint.

      The team has called the injury "not serious," but it is clearly worrisome. Dallas also hopes to have Devin Harris back for Monday's game. The veteran reserve guard is on a leave of absence after his older brother, 38-year-old Bruce Harris, died Thursday from injuries suffered in a car crash.

      Stephen Curry's brother, Seth Curry, has yet to play this season because of a left tibia stress reaction, and he will also miss Monday's game.

      Dallas' biggest problem has been an inability to rebound, providing plenty of second-chance opportunities for its opponents. The Mavs have been out-rebounded by 43 through the first three games.

      "A lot of them weren't really rebounds," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told the Dallas Morning News. "They were loose balls that were deflected and we just didn't get to."

      If Dallas can't get past Golden State, a first win could remain elusive for some time. The Mavs face a home-and-away back-to-back against Memphis, followed by games against Philadelphia, Utah and the Los Angeles Clippers.

      "I think we got the hardest schedule in the NBA the first 30 games," said 39-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, who has had a rough start to the season, averaging 7.3 points on 29 percent shooting from the floor. "Hopefully, we'll get some bodies back and win enough games to stick around for the first 30 games. But it's not going to get any easier."

  • Celtics PG Irving fined $25,000
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Sunday for using inappropriate language toward a fan.

    • Irving was responding to a fan in Philadelphia who yelled at him and made a reference to former teammate LeBron James during Friday night's game against the 76ers.

      The incident occurred at halftime of the Celtics' 102-92 win at Wells Fargo Center.

      A video that circulated on social media after the game and a fan is heard shouting, "Kyrie, where's LeBron?" as Celtics players walked down their tunnel to the locker room at halftime.

      Irving looked up toward the fan before making a profane response. He later said he did not have any regrets about the incident.

      "Hell no," Irving said, according to ESPN. "(The fan was) man enough to record it on video, then that's all him. I'm glad he got his (social media) name out there and then, kinda, five seconds of fame and it going viral. That's the social media platform we live on. I take full responsibility (for) what I said and excuse (to) the kids at home and you move on.

      "At the end of the day, we're human. It's in heat of the moment, and frustrations arises. We were at halftime, we were down by four, in an environment, a season opener in Philly. Being with a young team like we have here and staying composed, handling that before we go in the locker room and addressing what we have to do in the locker room and going out and handling business and getting the W, that's really the only thing that matters to me."

      The Cavaliers' trade of Irving to the Celtics for guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, rookie center Ante Zizic and two draft picks in August was one of the league's blockbuster deals of the summer.

      Irving scored 21 points in the third game with his new team.

  • NBA roundup: Warriors fall in Memphis
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Golden State Warriors fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 111-101 on Saturday night in a game that saw Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant ejected.

    • Curry scored 37 points but sat out the first half of the fourth quarter with five fouls.

      Durant didn't like a no-call either, and as Curry and Durant made their way toward the tunnel Durant was seen apparently flipping off a fan.

      Marc Gasol led Memphis with 34 points and 14 rebounds. The Grizzlies led almost the entire game and by as many as 19 points in the second half.

      Magic 114, Cavaliers 93

      CLEVELAND -- Orlando ended a 17-game losing streak against Cleveland and LeBron James with a win.

      Nicola Vucevic scored 23 points and the Orlando Magic stunned the Cavaliers, who trailed by as many as 37 points.

      The skid was the longest in Magic history to one team, just as the winning streak was Cleveland's best against an opponent. The Magic hadn't beaten Cleveland since Nov. 23, 2012.

      Vucevic, 26, played for the Magic in that game against Cleveland five years ago and scored 10 points in a 108-104 win.

      James paced the Cavs with 22 points and Kevin Love added 19. Iman Shumpert scored 21 points off the bench.

      Heat 112, Pacers 108

      MIAMI -- Goran Dragic scored 23 points to lead Miami to a win over Indiana.

      James Johnson's two free throws with 11 seconds left provided the final margin for the Heat, who withstood the Pacers' fourth-quarter comeback.

      Dion Waiters finished with 19 points and Kelly Olynyk scored 13 points for Miami, which played without injured center Hassan Whiteside. Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 28 points for the Pacers, who also played without center Myles Turner due to a concussion.

      Pistons 111, Knicks 107

      NEW YORK -- Detroit completed a comeback from a 21-point deficit as Tobias Harris scored 12 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to lift Detroit past New York.

      Porzingis led all scorers with 33 points, but most of his damage was done in the first half. The 7-foot-3 forward made his first seven shots, 8 of 10 shots by halftime before it changed with Tolliver.

      Andre Drummond, who collected 21 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season, blocked Porzingis' final shot. Reggie Jackson finished a 14-point night by scoring seven points in the final two minutes, including the tiebreaking 3-point play with 1:41 seconds.

      Rockets 107, Mavericks 91

      HOUSTON -- James Harden scored a season-high 29 points, Eric Gordon chipped in 18 and Houston defeated Dallas in its home opener at the Toyota Center.

      This is the 11th time the Rockets have started a season 3-0. The last was in 2014-15, when Houston started 6-0.

      With four players out -- including rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. -- for their first meeting against divisional rival Houston, the Mavericks (0-3) were undermanned from the beginning. Yogi Ferrell also scored 19 points for Dallas.

      Spurs 87, Bulls 77

      CHICAGO -- LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and San Antonio scored 23 points off of turnovers in a victory over Chicago.

      The Spurs, who are playing without last season's leading scorer Kawhi Leonard, led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter.

      Robin Lopez scored 16 points for the Bulls, who are without a handful of key players because of injury or suspension while in the midst of a rebuilding effort. Justin Holiday scored 15 points for Chicago.

      Raptos 128, 76ers 94

      TORONTO -- Ben Simmons has had a perfect start to his NBA career. The Australian has had double-doubles in each of his first three NBA games, but Philadelphia has lost all three, including last night to Toronto.

      While Simmons scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and added eight assists, the Raptors got 30 points from DeMar DeRozan to start the season with two straight wins.

      Nothing has changed in the new season for the Sixers, a young developing team. Simmons joined Oscar Robertson as the only NBA players to start their careers with at least 10 points and 10 rebounds and five or more assists in their first three games.

      Serge Ibaka added 21 points for the Raptors.

      Clippers 130, Suns 88

      LOS ANGELES -- Blake Griffin scored 29 points and DeAndre Jordan added 13 rebounds as Los Angeles remained undefeated with a victory over Phoenix.

      Alex Len scored 15 points and Devin Booker added 13 as the Suns struggled on the second night of back-to-back games. Tyson Chandler grabbed 14 rebounds. Phoenix fell to the Lakers on Friday night in a high-scoring affair and is now 0-3 on the season.

      Griffin shook off a slow start and was in sync by the third quarter. Clippers fans started an "MVP" chant while Griffin stepped to the free throw line in the second half of the home opener.

      Nuggets 96, Kings 79

      DENVER -- Paul Millsap had 18 points and nine rebounds in his first game in Denver and the Nuggets rebounded from a disappointing loss to the Jazz to beat Sacramento.

      Kenneth Faried also scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Gary Harris had 17 points for Denver.

      Rookie De'Aaron Fox led the Kings with 18 points. Sacramento didn't score 20 points in a quarter until getting 27 in the fourth.

      Jazz 96, Thunder 87

      SALT LAKE CITY -- Joe Ingles scored 19 points and the shorthanded Utah Jazz used a dominating defensive performance to knock off Oklahoma City.

      Ingles led a balanced attack as five Jazz players scored in double figures. He finished with 19 points. Rudy Gobert also had a big night for the Jazz with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Ricky Rubio added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

      Bucks 113, Trail Blazers 110

      MILWAUKEE -- Giannis Antetokounmpo stepped to the free-throw line with a chance to save the night for Milwaukee, only to miss both shots.

      Antetokounmpo followed those misses with a steal, a go-ahead dunk and a game-saving block in the final seconds as the Milwaukee held off Portland at the Bradley Center. He finished with a career-high 44 points.

      Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum led Portland with 26 points each and Jusuf Nurkic added 17 for the Blazers.

  • Clippers' Teodosic leaves game with foot injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles Clippers rookie guard Milos Teodosic left Saturday's game against the Phoenix Suns in the second quarter because of a left foot injury.

    • The team said Teodosic would not return to the game.

      Teodosic was a starter on Saturday after recording six points and six assists in the other game he played this season.

  • Cavaliers PG Rose ruled out vs. Magic
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, October 21, 2017

    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Derrick Rose was ruled out of Saturday's game against the Orlando Magic because of a sprained left ankle suffered in Friday's win over Milwaukee.

    • Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said he didn't know when Rose would return. Jose Calderon started in his place.

      Also, Orlando point guard Elfrid Payton (strained left hamstring) missed Saturday's game. Magic coach Frank Vogel said an MRI exam showed Payton sustained a "mild to moderate" hamstring strain Friday against Brooklyn and would miss some games.

      Vogel said Magic forward Aaron Gordon (sore left ankle) was unlikely to play against the Cavaliers, but would test his ankle before the game.

  • Portis: 'I'm wrong' for punching Bulls teammate
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, October 21, 2017

    CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis publicly apologized on Saturday for his role in an altercation in practice that injured forward Nikola Mirotic, who will miss four to six weeks with two facial fractures.

    • The incident took place on Tuesday after the two teammates got into an altercation that resulted in Portis punching Mirotic. Mirotic was taken the hospital, where he was treated for two facial fractures and a concussion.

      The Bulls suspended Portis for eight games. John Paxson, Chicago's vice president of operations, called the incident "inexcusable" on Wednesday and said it does not represent who the Bulls are. Mirotic will likely require surgery.

      "I'm wrong for what I did," Portis said Saturday before the Bulls' home opener against the San Antonio Spurs.

      Portis returned to practice on Friday after he apologized to his teammates in a meeting. He declined to speak with reporters after practice. Published reports indicated that Portis and Mirotic have been involved in shoving and shouting matches in the past. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that Portis was unhappy that Mirotic was not present for summer workouts and that Portis' offseason efforts did not result in a starting job.

      Portis said Saturday that wasn't the case.

      "Me and Niko are competitors and we're in the same position (at forward) and so we compete," Portis said. "We compete and things happen."

      Portis, Chicago's first-round pick in 2015, said he has texted and called Mirotic, who, according to Portis, has not responded. Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said that the most important thing right now is that Mirotic heals up.

      "He's still sore," Hoiberg said.

      Portis said he was surprised by his reaction and said that's not who he is. He expects that once Mirotic returns to Chicago, the two will sit down and attempt to work things out.

      "Going forward, I want to make sure that Nico and I are cool and that we can be teammates again," Portis said. "I'm pretty sure we can -- we just need to repair this relationship."

  • NBA roundup: Ball bounces back in Lakers' win
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, October 21, 2017

    PHOENIX -- Lonzo Ball had 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in his second NBA game to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 132-130 win over the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

    • Ball made only one shot and scored three points in his NBA debut on Wednesday, a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. But Ball turned it on Friday, shooting 12 of 27 from the field and barely missing his first triple-double.

      T.J. Warren had a chance to tie the game with 1.2 seconds left and the Suns down by two. But he missed the first free throw, purposely missed the second, grabbed his own rebound but shot an air ball as time expired.

      Brandon Ingram had 25 points and Brook Lopez had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.

      Eric Bledsoe scored 28 points and Devin Booker had 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Suns. Warren added 24 for Phoenix.

      Cavaliers 116, Bucks 97

      MILWAUKEE -- LeBron James scored 24 points and Kevin Love recorded his second double-double of the season as Cleveland spoiled Milwaukee's home opener.

      James, who admitted earlier in the week that he still wasn't fully recovered from a left ankle injury that limited him to one preseason game, played 37 minutes and hit 10 of 16 shots while dishing out eight assists.

      Love had 17 points with 12 rebounds while Kyle Korver also finished with 17, hitting 5 of 6 of his 3-point attempts.

      Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee (1-1) with 34 points on 15-of-22 shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists, but the Bucks were held to 46.9 percent shooting and were 11-for-35 from beyond the arc.

      Trail Blazers 114, Pacers 96

      INDIANAPOLIS -- C.J. McCollum returned from a one-game suspension to score 28 points as Portland improved to 2-0 on the road to open the season.

      Portland (2-0) opened its season Wednesday night with a dominating 124-76 victory at Phoenix, then continued its solid play in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

      Evan Turner added 17 points for the Trail Blazers, and Damian Lillard finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Al-Farouq Aminu added 16 points and 16 rebounds

      Guard Victor Oladipo and reserve TJ Leaf led Indiana (1-1) with 17 points apiece.

      The Pacers played without starting center Myles Turner, who has a concussion and a sore neck after contributing 21 points and 14 rebounds in Wednesday's opening-night 140-131 victory against Brooklyn. Turner also will miss Saturday's game at Miami. He will be in concussion protocol until he is cleared to play again.

      Celtics 102, 76ers 92

      PHILADELPHIA -- Kyrie Irving scored seven of his 21 points in a game-ending 18-8 run as short-handed Boston earned its first victory of the season.

      Al Horford added 17 points and nine rebounds for Boston, which lost newly acquired forward Gordon Hayward, likely for the season, to a dislocated left ankle and fractured tibia in Tuesday's opener in Cleveland. The Celtics (1-2) were also without starting guard Marcus Smart, who sprained both ankles in Wednesday's home opener to Milwaukee, and forward Marcus Morris, who is out with a knee injury.

      J.J. Redick scored 19 points for the Sixers (0-2). Joel Embiid had 11 points and 14 rebounds, but missed his first eight shots and finished 4 of 16 from the floor. Rookie Ben Simmons had 11 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

      Wizards 115, Pistons 111

      WASHINGTON -- Otto Porter scored 28 points and John Wall had 26 points and 10 assists as Washington improved to 2-0.

      Bradley Beal finished with 25 points as the Wizards held on after letting a 15-point fourth-quarter lead slip away.

      Reggie Jackson scored 21 points and Avery Bradley had 18 for Detroit (1-1). Detroit center Andre Drummond had nine points and 12 rebounds before fouling out with 9:15 remaining with his team trailing 98-83. The Pistons immediately rallied with a 14-0 run and eventually took the lead at 104-102. Washington responded with a 9-2 run to regain the lead.

      Nets 126, Magic 121

      NEW YORK -- D'Angelo Russell scored six of his 17 points down the stretch as Brooklyn withstood a career-high 41 points from Nikola Vucevic to win its home opener.

      Russell made 8 of 16 shots after getting 30 points in his Brooklyn debut Wednesday in Indiana. He converted a crossover layup and then executed a nifty foul line jumper while being defended by D.J. Augustin with 83 seconds left for a 119-116 lead.

      DeMarre Carroll also scored 17 and grabbed eight rebounds for the Nets.

      Vucevic surpassed his previous career high of 37 and also grabbed 12 rebounds. He made 17 of 22 shots, including a career-high six 3-pointers but missed a short jumper while being defended by Carroll and committed a turnover in the final minute.

      Hornets 109, Hawks 91

      CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 26 points and Dwight Howard torched his former team for 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Charlotte rallied from a 20-point deficit to win.

      The Hornets trailed 40-20 with 8:52 left in the second quarter, but closed the gap to 56-49 at halftime and then dominated the second half with a 24-0 run in the third quarter. They outscored Atlanta 35-17 in the period.

      The Hawks (1-1) were led by Dennis Schroder with 25 points.

      Timberwolves 100, Jazz 97

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota Timberwolves in a nail-biting win over Utah.

      Jimmy Butler added 13 points for Minnesota, which overcame 26 turnovers and was just 7 of 22 from 3-point territory.

      Jamal Crawford provided the big closing flurry with 17 points, all in the fourth quarter. His 3-pointer with 27.5 seconds left was the key shot of the game.

      Rodney Hood led Utah with 20 points but had to be carried off the floor by teammates in the fourth quarter after suffering a left leg injury.

      Kings 93, Mavericks 88

      DALLAS -- George Hill poured in 21 points Friday night to lead Sacramento to the road win.

      The key basket came when Hill grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to put the Kings (1-1) ahead 91-86 with 16.4 seconds remaining.

      Harrison Barnes paced the Mavericks (0-2) with 24 points. The Mavs played without rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who has a left knee effusion.

      Warriors 128, Pelicans 120

      NEW ORLEANS -- Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant combined for 83 points and Golden State rebounded from its season-opening loss to beat New Orleans.

      The Pelicans scored 39 first-quarter points to take a 13-point lead, but the Warriors worked their way back.

      Thompson finished with 33 points and Curry had 28 for the Warriors, and Durant had 22 points and a career-high seven blocks.

      Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins had 35 points apiece for the Pelicans.

  • NBA notebook: Rockets' Paul out 2-4 weeks
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, October 20, 2017

    Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul will miss two to four weeks due to a bruised left knee, according to multiple reports on Friday.

    • The nine-time All-Star was hampered by the knee problem in Tuesday's season-opening victory over the Golden State Warriors before sitting out the following night's game against the Sacramento Kings.

      Houston coach Mike D'Antoni downplayed the seriousness of the injury earlier Friday when he revealed Paul would miss Saturday's game against the Dallas Mavericks.

      "It's only a bump," D'Antoni told reporters. "It's not a tear or something like that. It's a bruise. We just have to make sure he's 100 percent the next time he plays. I don't think there's (concern). All indications are he should be OK."

      Paul originally suffered the injury in a preseason game against Memphis on Oct. 11, when he bumped knees with Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers. He played 33 minutes in the season-opening win over the Warriors but had just four points on 2-of-9 shooting, though he did contribute 11 assists.

      --Jenny Boucek became the second current full-time female coach in the NBA when the Sacramento Kings hired the former WNBA coach as assistant coach for player development.

      Boucek, 43, joins San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon as the lone full-time female assistant coaches.

      Boucek will be on the bench Friday night alongside coach Dave Joerger and the rest of the staff when the Kings visit the Dallas Mavericks.

      Boucek was most recently the head coach for the WNBA's Seattle Storm and was fired in August with eight games remaining in the 2017 season. She had a 36-58 record in parts of three seasons with the Storm.

      --Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin underwent surgery to repair a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee, the team announced.

      The team said Thursday that Lin will miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season. On Friday, the Nets added he is expected to make a full recovery.

      Lin was injured in Wednesday night's season opener against the Indiana Pacers when he landed awkwardly on a drive to the basket.

  • Kings hire second full-time female coach
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, October 20, 2017

    Jenny Boucek became the second current full-time female coach in the NBA on Friday, when the Sacramento Kings hired the former WNBA coach as assistant coach for player development.

    • Boucek, 43, joins San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon as the lone full-time female assistant coaches.

      Boucek will be on the bench Friday night alongside coach Dave Joerger and the rest of the staff when the Kings visit the Dallas Mavericks.

      "Over the years, I've crossed paths with Dave several times," Boucek told espn.com. "I feel like we have a lot in common because we got into coaching in the pros at young ages. We stayed in touch and supported each other. I spent some time observing with their staff here a couple of times, and it evolved into this."

      Boucek was most recently the head coach for the WNBA's Seattle Storm and was fired in August with eight games remaining in the 2017 season. She had a 36-58 record in parts of three seasons with the Storm.

      Boucek spent two 2 1/2 seasons as coach of the WNBA Sacramento Monarchs from 2007-09, compiling a 40-41 record.

      Having a female assistant isn't a new thing with the Kings. Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman was on the coaching staff the past two seasons.

  • Rockets PG Paul out 2-4 weeks
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, October 20, 2017

    Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul will miss two to four weeks due to a bruised left knee, according to multiple reports on Friday.

    • The nine-time All-Star was hampered by the knee in Tuesday's season-opening victory over the Golden State Warriors before sitting out the following night's game against the Sacramento Kings.

      Houston coach Mike D'Antoni downplayed the seriousness of the injury earlier Friday when he revealed Paul would miss Saturday's game against the Dallas Mavericks.

      "It's only a bump," D'Antoni told reporters. "It's not a tear or something like that. It's a bruise. We just have to make sure he's 100 percent the next time he plays.

      "I don't think there's (concern). All indications are he should be OK."

      Paul originally suffered the injury in a preseason game against Memphis on Oct. 11, when he bumped knees with Grizzlies guard Mario Chalmers.

      He played 33 minutes in the season-opening win over the Warriors but had just four points on 2-of-9 shooting, though he did contribute 11 assists.

      The Rockets acquired the 32-year-old Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers in an offseason trade.

  • Nets PG Lin undergoes successful surgery
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, October 20, 2017

    Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin underwent successful surgery to repair a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee, the team announced Friday.

    • The team said Thursday that Lin will miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season. On Friday, the Nets added he is expected to make a full recovery.

      The procedure was performed by Dr. Riley Williams III at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York on Friday morning.

      Lin was injured in Wednesday night's season opener against the Indiana Pacers when he landed awkwardly on a drive to the basket during the fourth quarter of the Nets' 140-131 road loss. He crumbled to the court and limped back to the locker room under his own power after initially being assisted.

      The 29-year-old Lin posted a photo with Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson on his Twitter account Friday afternoon. In the photo, Lin's right knee is shown wrapped and in a brace.

      "THANKS for all the love and support!! Blown away at everyones kindness. My hats too swaggy lol," Lin tweeted.

      Before exiting Wednesday's game, Lin totaled 18 points and four assists in 25 minutes. He played his first season with the Nets in 2016-17 after signing a three-year, $36 million contract, appearing in just 36 games (33 starts) due to a variety of injuries. He averaged 14.5 points and 5.1 assists last season.

  • NBA roundup: Knicks no match for Thunder's Big 3
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, October 20, 2017

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Thunder's new-look roster got off to a big start Thursday night.

    • New additions Carmelo Anthony and Paul George teamed up with Russell Westbrook to score a combined 71 points as the Thunder beat the New York Knicks 105-84 in the season opener for both teams.

      Westbrook turned in a triple-double with 21 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds. George finished with 28 points while Anthony added 22.

      Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 31 points and 12 rebounds. The only other New York player to score in double digits was Enes Kanter, who had 10 points.

      Clippers 108, Lakers 92

      LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Clippers continued their recent domination of the Los Angeles Lakers with a victory in the season opener for both teams. The Clippers have won 19 of the past 21 meetings with the Lakers since the start of the 2012-13 season.

      Blake Griffin had 29 points and 12 rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 points and 24 rebounds to lead the Clippers.

      Rookie Lonzo Ball made his NBA debut for the Lakers, and the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft finished with three points, nine rebounds, four assists and two turnovers while shooting 1 of 6 from the floor.

      Raptors 117, Bulls 101

      TORONTO -- Jonas Valanciunas scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, C.J. Miles added 22 points off the bench, and Toronto defeated Chicago in the opening game of the season for each team.

      Norman Powell added 15 points for the Raptors, while Kyle Lowry scored 12 points and had nine assists. Delon Wright added 13 points with DeMar DeRozan contributing 11.

      Robin Lopez scored 18 points and nabbed eight rebounds for the Bulls. Rookie Lauri Markkanen had 17 points and eight rebounds, Justin Holiday added 15 points, and Denzel Valentine scored 12.

  • Thunder's new star trio buries Knicks
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, October 20, 2017

    OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Thunder's new-look roster got off to a big start Thursday night.

    • New additions Carmelo Anthony and Paul George teamed up with Russell Westbrook to score a combined 71 points as the Thunder beat the New York Knicks 105-84 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in the season opener for both teams.

      Westbrook once again turned in a triple-double, with 21 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds, sealing the mark with his final rebound with about four minutes remaining and the game well in hand.

      George finished with 28 points while Anthony added 22.

      Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks with 31 points and 12 rebounds. The only other New York player to score in double digits was Enes Kanter, who had 10 points.

      For Anthony, it was a chance to move on after six-plus seasons in New York ended acrimoniously, leading to his trade to Oklahoma City just before training camp opened.

      It didn't take long for Anthony to turn the page, hitting a 3-pointer less than a minute into the game and getting a large roar.

      There was plenty new for the Thunder, most notably with the additions of George in an offseason trade from the Indiana Pacers and Anthony to go with a new-look bench.

      A year ago, when Westbrook headed to the bench for a rest, the Thunder were hard-pressed to find much offense.

      But with Anthony and George on board, the Thunder had one of their stars on the floor at all times.

      The first time Westbrook sat, the offense stagnated as the Knicks cut what was a nine-point deficit to a one-point advantage by the time Westbrook re-entered early in the second quarter.

      But the second time Westbrook sat, the Thunder were able to maintain what had ballooned to a 20-point lead.

      NOTES: Knicks F Michael Beasley sustained a left ankle injury after hitting a shot late in the first quarter and landing on Thunder G Russell Westbrook's foot. Beasley did not return, though X-rays were negative. ... The triple-double was the 80th of Westbrook's career. Westbrook averaged a triple-double a season ago. ... Knicks C Enes Kanter was given a loud ovation both in warmups and when he was introduced as a starter. Kanter played 180 games for the Thunder over the previous two-plus seasons. ... New York coach Jeff Hornacek was given a technical foul at the end of the first half after arguing with officials following Thunder F Paul George's steal and basket at the buzzer. New York G Courtney Lee was also called for a technical in the final minute of the second quarter.

  • NBA notebook: Nets lose Lin for season
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 19, 2017

    Jeremy Lin is expected to miss the rest of the 2017-18 season after the Brooklyn Nets said he sustained a ruptured patellar tendon of the right knee in Wednesday night's regular-season opener against the Pacers in Indiana.

    • Lin was injured on a drive to the basket during the fourth quarter of the Nets' 140-131 road loss to the Indiana Pacers and had to leave the game. He limped back to the locker room under his own power after initially being assisted.

      Before exiting the game, Lin totaled 18 points and four assists in 25 minutes. He is in the second season of a three-year, $36 million contract he signed with Brooklyn before last season.

      --The Denver Nuggets announced the signing of veteran forward Richard Jefferson. The team also announced it had waived guard Jameer Nelson.

      Jefferson, 37, cleared waivers Monday after being waived by the Hawks after Atlanta acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers that was completed Saturday.

      ESPN previously reported Jefferson will make $2.3 million in the one-year deal. Jefferson is joining his seventh NBA team after debuting in the 2001-02 season and spending his first seven seasons with the then-New Jersey Nets. He made the NBA's All-Rookie Second Team in 2002.

      He spent the last two years with the Cavaliers, serving as a role player and helping the franchise win its first championship during the 2015-16 season. The 16-year NBA veteran has averaged 12.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 1,161 career games.

      --An MRI exam on the injured left knee of Golden State Warriors star forward Draymond Green came back negative, according to an ESPN report.

      Green's status for Friday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans is uncertain.

      The two-time All-Star and reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year was injured during the third quarter of the Warriors' regular-season opener against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

  • Warriors F Green avoids serious knee injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 19, 2017

    An MRI exam on the injured left knee of Golden State Warriors star forward Draymond Green came back negative, according to an ESPN report Thursday.

    • Green's status for Friday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans is uncertain.

      The two-time All-Star and reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year was injured during the third quarter of the Warriors' regular-season opener against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

      "I'll be good. I'm fine," Green told ESPN following the game.

      Green finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in 28 minutes in Golden State's 122-121 loss.

  • Nuggets officially sign Jefferson, waive Nelson
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 19, 2017

    The Denver Nuggets announced the signing of veteran forward Richard Jefferson on Thursday.

    • The team also announced it had waived guard Jameer Nelson.

      Jefferson, 37, cleared waivers Monday after being waived by the Hawks after Atlanta acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers that was completed Saturday.

      ESPN previously reported Jefferson will make $2.3 million in the one-year deal.

      Jefferson is joining his seventh NBA team after debuting in the 2001-02 season and spending his first seven seasons with the then-New Jersey Nets. He made the NBA's All-Rookie Second Team in 2002.

      He spent the last two years with the Cavaliers, serving as a role player and helping the franchise win its first championship during the 2015-16 season.

      The 16-year NBA veteran has averaged 12.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 1,161 career games.

      Nelson, 35, spent the past two-plus seasons with Denver, averaging 8.9 points and 4.7 assists over 148 games.

  • Lin out for season after right knee injury in Nets' opener
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 19, 2017

    Jeremy Lin is expected to miss the rest of the 2017-18 season after the Brooklyn Nets said he sustained a ruptured patella tendon of the right knee in Wednesday night's regular-season opener against the Pacers in Indiana.

    • Lin was injured on a drive to the basket during the fourth quarter of the Nets' 140-131 road loss to the Indiana Pacers and had to leave the game. He limped back to the locker room under his own power after initially being assisted.

      "Jeremy worked tremendously hard during the offseason and in training camp and was excited for the prospects of the team this season," Nets general manager Sean Marks said in a statement. "We feel awful that the injury will cost him the season, however our entire organization will be there to support Jeremy in every way possible throughout his recovery. Jeremy remains an important part of this team and will continue to contribute in a leadership role."

      ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wednesday night that there was fear among team officials that Lin's knee injury was "significant".

      "Gods ALWAYS faithful and in control," Lin wrote on Twitter after the game.

      Before exiting the game, Lin totaled 18 points and four assists in 25 minutes. He is in the second season of a three-year, $36 million contract he signed with Brooklyn before last season.

  • Hayward has surgery, unlikely to return this season
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, October 19, 2017

    Gordon Hayward's first season with the Boston Celtics is probably over after five minutes of game action.

    • Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night to repair a fractured left tibia and dislocated left ankle, injuries that occurred early in the season opener Tuesday at Cleveland.

      Following the operation in Boston, Hayward's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN that his client is unlikely to get back on the court this season.

      Calling the surgery a success, Bartelstein added, "We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form."

      The Celtics returned home Wednesday night and lost for the second night in a row, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks 108-100. The Cavaliers beat the Celtics 102-99 on Tuesday.

      Hayward addressed the Boston crowd pregame Wednesday in a message recorded from his hospital bed, saying, "What's up, everybody? I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers. I'm going to be all right. It's hurting me that I can't be there for the home opener; I want nothing more than just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. I'll be supporting you guys from here. I wish you the best of luck. Kill it tonight."

      Hayward, a 27-year-old forward, signed a four-year, $128 million contract with the Celtics in the offseason. On Tuesday, he was trying to convert a lob pass from Kyrie Irving when he and Cavaliers forward LeBron James ran into each other. Hayward immediately called for help with his ankle turned the wrong way.

  • NBA roundup: Bucks spoil Celtics' emotional home opener
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    BOSTON -- Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 16 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter as the Milwaukee Bucks spoiled the Boston Celtics' emotional home opener with a 108-100 victory Wednesday night.

    • Boston, which lost for the second straight night under the cloud of the gruesome injury sustained by newcomer Gordon Hayward in Cleveland on Tuesday, appeared to tire late as the Bucks turned a six-point, fourth-quarter deficit into a win.

      In addition to his points in the fourth quarter, Antetokounmpo had two steals, two (of his 13) rebounds and two assists as the Bucks used a 17-4 run to take control.

      Hayward addressed the crowd pregame from his hospital bed, stating, "I'm gonna be all right." With 3:21 left in the first half, the crowd broke into a chant of "Gor-don Hay-ward." Hayward was undergoing surgery Wednesday night, his father tweeted.

      Trail Blazers 124, Suns 76

      PHOENIX -- Damian Lillard scored 27 points and Portland handed Phoenix its worst loss in the 50-year history of the franchise.

      The previous worst loss by a Suns team was by 44 points (151-107) to the Seattle SuperSonics on April 2, 1988. Phoenix trailed by as many as 58 points (118-60) midway through the fourth quarter and more than 50 until the final minute.

      Pat Connaughton added 24 points for the Trail Blazers, who played without guard C.J. McCollum because of a one-game suspension and rookie center Zach Collins (stomach problems) but hardly missed them.

      Rockets 105, Kings 100

      SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- James Harden scored nine of his 27 points during a decisive fourth-quarter spurt as Houston topped Sacramento.

      Harden, playing 38 minutes one night after scoring a game-high 27 in a 122-121 victory over the defending champion Golden State Warriors, nailed three 3-pointers as the Rockets stretched a 75-74 lead to 92-81 over a five-minute stretch of the final quarter.

      Houston played without Chris Paul, who sat out most of the fourth quarter in the win over the Warriors with a bruised left knee. Eric Gordon, starting in the backcourt for Paul, contributed 25 points and three assists. Clint Capela scored 22 points, made 10 of 12 shots from the field and also collected 17 rebounds for the Rockets. Harden added nine assists.

      Wizards 120, 76ers 115

      WASHINGTON -- John Wall scored 18 of his 28 points in the second half, Bradley Beal had 25 and Washington opened the season with a victory over Philadelphia.

      Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Wizards. Kelly Oubre Jr. and Jodie Meeks each scored 14 points off the bench for Washington, which opened at home for the first time since 2011.

      Joel Embiid had 18 points, 13 rebounds and one block in 27 minutes for the 76ers. Robert Covington had 29 points and sank 7 of 11 3-pointers, and Ben Simmons finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds in his NBA debut after missing all of last season with a foot injury.

      Pacers 140, Nets 131

      INDIANAPOLIS -- Victor Oladipo scored 22 points to lead eight Indiana players in double figures as the Pacers topped Brooklyn in the season opener for both teams.

      Oladipo, a former Indiana University standout, was making his regular-season debut after coming to Indiana from Oklahoma City with Domantas Sabonis in the Paul George trade. Sabonis scored 16 points.

      D'Angelo Russell was high for the Nets with 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting. Trevor Booker added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Brooklyn's Jeremy Lin, who scored 18 points, was hurt with 4:53 left and needed help to get off the court with an apparent right knee injury.

      Spurs 107, Timberwolves 99

      SAN ANTONIO -- LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead San Antonio over Minnesota in the season opener for both teams.

      Danny Green added 17 points for the Spurs, who won the first game of their season for the 19th time in the 21 years Gregg Popovich has been coach. Dejounte Murray hit for 16 while Rudy Gay scored 14, and Kyle Anderson tallied 12 points and took nine rebounds for San Antonio.

      Andrew Wiggins led the Timberwolves with 26 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns racked up his first double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Jimmy Butler, one of Minnesota's flashy offseason, free agent signings, added 12 points.

      Grizzlies 103, Pelicans 91

      MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Mike Conley scored 27 points as Memphis defeated New Orleans in the season opener for both teams.

      The Pelicans got double-doubles from Anthony Davis (33 points, 18 rebounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (28 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks). Cousins also picked up his first technical of the season with 50 seconds left.

      Conley got support from Marc Gasol, who posted 14 points and 11 rebounds plus four assists. Rookie Dillon Brooks scored 19 points with five rebounds and four steals in his NBA debut for the Grizzlies.

      Jazz 106, Nuggets 96

      SALT LAKE CITY -- Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Alec Burks added 16 points off the bench to lift Utah over Denver in the opener for both teams.

      Derrick Favors added 14 points and Joe Johnson chipped in 13 for the Jazz. Utah used hot fourth-quarter shooting to rally after trailing by as many as 15 points, going 9 of 18 from the field in the final 12 minutes.

      Will Barton scored 23 points to lead the Nuggets. Paul Millsap added 19 points in his Denver debut, and Gary Harris chipped in 14. The Nuggets could not overcome a cold shooting fourth quarter, making only five field goals.

      Hawks 117, Mavericks 111

      DALLAS -- Dennis Schroder scored 28 points to lead Atlanta past Dallas in the season opener for both teams.

      Marco Belinelli and John Collins combined to add 34 points off the bench as Atlanta extended its winning streak to eight against Dallas. With the score tied at 111, Dewayne Dedmon gave Atlanta the lead for good with a rebound and putback with 58 seconds left.

      Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr., a 19-year-old point guard, looked like a veteran while running the offense, producing 16 points and 10 assists in his first NBA game. Nerlens Noel had 16 points and 11 rebounds backing up Dirk Nowitzki, who shot only 4 of 14 and scored 10.

      Pistons 102, Hornets 90

      DETROIT -- Tobias Harris poured in 27 points, and Detroit celebrated its first regular-season game at Little Caesars Arena with a victory over Charlotte.

      Harris also grabbed 10 rebounds in the new downtown building. Avery Bradley, who was acquired in a trade with Boston during the summer, had 15 points in his Pistons debut. Langston Galloway contributed 16 points off the bench.

      Kemba Walker's 24 points led the Hornets in the opener for both teams. Jeremy Lamb added 15 points, and Dwight Howard supplied 10 points and 15 rebounds in his Hornets debut. Howard was acquired in an offseason trade with Atlanta.

      Magic 116, Heat 109

      ORLANDO, Fla. -- Evan Fournier scored 23 points, including seven in the last two minutes, to lead Orlando over Miami.

      It was the first time since 2012 the Magic won their season opener. Orlando rode a well-balanced attack with six players scoring at least 12 points. Nikola Vucevic led the way with 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Terrence Ross had 15 points.

      The Heat's Hassan Whiteside posted game highs with 26 points and 22 rebounds. He had 14 points in the fourth quarter to lead a comeback that fell short.

  • Bulls suspend F Portis 8 games for punching teammate
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis was suspended eight games less than 24 hours after punching teammate Nikola Mirotic and breaking his jaw at practice, the team announced Wednesday.

    • In announcing the suspension by the team, Bulls executive vice president John Paxson said Mirotic will be out four to six weeks after suffering fractures to his upper jaw and a concussion from Tuesday's altercation.

      "Both players owned responsibility in the incident itself but only one player threw a punch," Paxson told reporters Wednesday. "And that punch connected. For us, that is inexcusable. It's not who we are. It disappoints us."

      Paxson said Mirotic's concussion symptoms must subside before the facial injuries can be addressed.

      Portis will serve the suspension beginning with the Bulls' season opener at Toronto on Thursday night. He will be able to practice with the team during his suspension.

      "Bobby Portis is not a bad person," Paxson said. "He's a good kid. He's a competitive kid. But in this instance, he made a mistake. And as we all know when you make mistakes, you have to suffer the consequences."

      The players had been talking trash to one another in practice, going back and forth before those exchanges escalated into a physical encounter, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Mirotic charged at Portis twice before Portis threw a punch and connected with Mirotic's face, according to the report.

      Mirotic dropped to the floor and lay there for several minutes before getting up. He was taken to the hospital and released later Tuesday.

      The 6-foot-10, 238-pound Mirotic, 26, averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 70 games (15 starts) last season and was expected to start for Chicago this season. He signed a two-year deal with $12.5 million guaranteed this season to stay in Chicago.

      The 6-11, 248-pound Portis, 22, averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds in 64 games (13 starts) last season and was battling Mirotic for the starting power forward spot. The 2015 first-round pick by the Bulls averaged 6.9 points and 5.0 rebounds over 126 games the past two seasons.

  • Mirotic's face broken in scuffle at Bulls practice
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, October 17, 2017

    Chicago Bulls starting power forward Nikola Mirotic sustained what the team called "maxillary fractures" after being punched in the face by teammate Bobby Portis in a practice altercation.

    • According to the Bulls, Mirotic likely will require surgery.

      The Chicago Tribune reported the injury would keep Mirotic out for a minimum of a few weeks.

      ESPN reported that Mirotic charged at Portis twice before Portis threw a punch and connected with Mirotic's face. Mirotic dropped to the floor and lay there for several minutes before getting up. He was taken to the hospital and released later Tuesday.

      The Bulls are evaluating disciplinary action, and ESPN reported Portis would be suspended for multiple games.

      Just before the start of training camp, Mirotic, 26, signed a two-year, $27 million deal that contains a team option for the second season. He has averaged 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists over his 218-game NBA career.

      Portis, 22, a 2015 first-round pick by the Bulls, averaged 6.9 points and five rebounds over 126 games the past two seasons.