NBA Results Roundup (23 Oct, Wednesday): Kyrie Irving debut ends in OT loss; Nikola Jokic powers Nuggets past Blazers
NBA action continued on Day 2 of the regular season, with as many as 11 pulsating fixtures taking place on the night.
From overtime thrillers to memorable debuts, fans were treated to a mixed bag on the night, and here, we recap all the action from around the NBA on 23 October 2019:
#1 PJ Washington enjoys record-breaking debut for Charlotte Hornets
Washington, the 12th overall pick of this year's NBA Draft, drained as many as seven three-pointers to guide the Charlotte Hornets past the Chicago Bulls. In the process, Washington broke the record held by Donyell Marshall (1994) and Jake Layman (2016) for the most three-pointers made on debut.
For Chicago, Lauri Markkanen finished with 35 points and 17 rebounds in a losing cause as the Hornets squeezed out a one-point victory.
Bulls 125-126 Hornets (Markkanen 35 points, 17 rebounds; Washington 27 points)
#2 Andre Drummond double-double subdues Indiana Pacers
A monster double-double from Andre Drummond and useful contributions from the Detroit bench helped a short-handed Pistons begin the season with a win over the Indiana Pacers.
Drummond became the first player in Pistons history to post a 30-20 game in a season-opener as he finished with 32 points, 23 rebounds, four blocks, three steals, and two assists.
Luke Kennard and Derrick Rose provided the spark off the bench to help the Pistons wipe out a three-point deficit in the final quarter and seal a nine-point victory.
Pistons 119-110 Pacers (Drummond 32 points, 23 rebounds)
#3 Magic edge Cavaliers in defensive slugfest
Orlando Magic cruised past the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers on the back of a stellar defensive effort.
After struggling in the opening exchanges, the Magic ramped up their intensity on defense to hold the Cavaliers to 23 of 89 shooting from the field, while Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier provided the spark on offense.
Cavaliers 85-94 Magic (Vucevic 21 points, 9 rebounds)
#4 Kyrie Irving debut ends in OT loss to Minnesota Timberwolves
Kyrie Irving starred on his franchise debut, pouring in 50 points even as the Brooklyn Nets failed to shake off a slow start, falling to the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime.
Irving almost marked his record-breaking franchise debut with the game-winning shot but lost his balance while attempting a jumper with a few seconds to go.
Timberwolves 127-126 Nets (Irving 50 points, 7 assists)
#5 Miami Heat score 37 in 4th quarter to dismantle Memphis Grizzlies
An evenly-poised game between the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies heading into the fourth quarter turned into a blowout win for the Heat as they poured in 37 points in the final period to secure a 120-101 victory.
Although Justise Winslow led all scorers with 27 points, it was rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn that provided the spark for the Heat, combining for 38 points.
Contributions all around helped the Heat deal with the absence of Jimmy Butler, who missed the game due to personal reasons.
Grizzlies 101-120 Heat (Winslow 27 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists)
#6 Ben Simmons outshines Kemba Walker in point-guard duel
Following a heart-breaking exit at the hands of the Toronto Raptors in last season's Conference Semifinals, the Philadelphia 76ers began the new season in style, dismantling the Boston Celtics.
Ben Simmons finished with 24 points, eight assists, and nine rebounds, helping neutralize Gordon Hayward's 25-point game for the Cs. Kemba Walker looked rusty on his Celtics debut as he managed just 12 points on 22% shooting from the field.
Celtics 93-1107 76ers (Simmons 24 points, 8 assists, 9 rebounds)
#7 Porzingis debut overshadowed by Luka Doncic performance
It was a night of memorable debuts across the NBA, with Kristaps Porzingis joining in on the act as well. The former Knick finished with 23 points and hit on three of his seven attempts from beyond the arc but was overshadowed by Luka Doncic.
Doncic continued from where he left off last season, draining 34 points to help the Dallas Mavericks get off to a winning start. Washington, who trailed by as many as 23 at one point in time, managed to close the deficit to seven late in the fourth quarter, but saw their comeback thwarted by a Porzingis one-handed dunk.
Wizards 100-108 Mavericks (Doncic 34 points, 9 rebounds)
#8 San Antonio Spurs score 120 as Dejounte Murray, LaMarcus Aldridge star
Dejounte Murray, fresh off signing a four-year, $64 million extension with the San Antonio Spurs, produced an 18-point effort to help Gregg Popovich's men topple the New York Knicks.
Murray also provided six assists, eight rebounds and three steals in a stellar all-round display. Spurs' stifling brand of defense was on show in the first quarter as they limited the Knicks to just 15 points and 28% shooting from the field.
While they did experience a let-up in the subsequent periods, LaMarcus Aldridge's 22 points helped them across the line.
Knicks 111-120 Spurs (Murray 18 points, 6 assists, 8 rebounds)
#9 Jazz eke out close win over Thunder on back of Donovan Mitchell performance
Utah Jazz enter this season as one of the dark horses and they did that reputation no harm with a victory in their season-opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Donovan Mitchell sparkled on a night in which new acquisition Mike Conley shot bricks. Mitchell shrugged off a slow start - his opening field goal didn't arrive till midway through the second quarter - and managed to light up the Vivint Smart Home Arena with a dynamic display that saw him finish with 32 points on 14-for-22 shooting.
Conley, on the other hand, endured a miserable night as he went 1 of 16 from the field on his Jazz debut.
The Thunder got big contributions from Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul, but lack of production from the bench proved to be their downfall.
Thunder 95-100 Jazz (Gilgeous-Alexander 26 points; Mitchell 32 points, 12 rebounds)
#10 Phoenix Suns scorch Sacramento Kings despite Buddy Hield performance
The Phoenix Suns couldn't buy a victory last season - they managed just 19 in the entire regular season. However, with a new-look roster and Ricky Rubio running the show at point guard, the Suns got their campaign off to the perfect start, blowing out the Sacramento Kings,
Devin Booker and Kelly Oubre Jr both had 20-point games that were enough to subdue the Kings. Buddy Hield had a great outing with 28 points of his own but his Kings teammates failed to show up.
Kings 95-124 Suns (Booker 22 points, 10 assists)
#11 Denver Nuggets score heavily from 3-point land to edge past Portland Trail Blazers
In the most-anticipated encounter of the night, the Denver Nuggets traveled to the Moda Center to take on Damian Lillard and his Trail Blazers.
Lillard poured in 32 points in a losing effort as a fourth-quarter surge from the Nuggets ensured Denver exacted a semblance of revenge for their playoff series loss last season.
For the Nuggets, Nikola Jokic finished with a double-double, while Will Barton, Paul Millsap, and Jamal Murray combined for 44 points.
The Nuggets made 18 of their 32 attempts from beyond the arc.
Nuggets 108-100 Trail Blazers (Jokic 20 points, 13 rebounds; Lillard 32 points, 8 assists)