LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Harden scored 32 points, Dwight Howard added 13 points and 11 rebounds before getting into a shouting match with Kobe Bryant, and the Houston Rockets spoiled Bryant’s return to the Lakers with a 108-90 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Bryant’s comeback game got even worse when Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle seriously injured his right leg in the fourth quarter, leaving his NBA debut on a wheeled stretcher. The seventh overall pick out of Kentucky collided with two Rockets under the basket and landed awkwardly.
Bryant scored 19 points in his first game back at Staples Center after missing most of the Lakers’ worst season in a half-century with two major injuries.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tony Parker had 23 points, including a big 3-pointer late in the game, and the San Antonio Spurs opened their title defense with a thrilling 101-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.
Manu Ginobili added 20 points for San Antonio, which shot 53 percent from the field. Tim Duncan had 14 points and 13 rebounds for his 14th double-double in a season opener, the most by any player in NBA history, according to Elias Sports.
Monta Ellis scored 26 points for Dallas, and Dirk Nowitzki had 18. Devin Harris finished with 17 points.
Following a video recap of the 2014 season narrated by actor and Spurs fan Samuel L. Jackson, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver presented San Antonio’s staff and players with their championship rings. The inscription inside the ring was “Good to Great,” which was coach Gregg Popovich’s mantra last season.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 26 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks, leading New Orleans to the season-opening win.
Ryan Anderson, coming back from surgery on a herniated disk that cost him more than half of last season, scored 22 points. The Pelicans’ new 7-foot center, Omer Asik, had a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds.
The tandem of Davis and Asik dominated the interior. They combined for 16 offensive rebounds, and the Pelicans finished with 32 second-chance points. Davis tied a career high for blocked shots, and Asik’s five blocks equaled his career best.
Tobias Harris scored 25 points for Orlando, while Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 23 rebounds.