In Brooklyn on Wednesday, the star-studded Nets were defeated 130-108 by Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans to start their NBA campaign. Williamson scored 25 points while returning from the foot injury that kept him out for a season. Brandon Ingram scored 28 points; it was Williamson’s first regular-season game in more than 17 months.
“It’s crazy,” said Williamson, the 2019 top draft pick who at 22 has already battled a raft of injuries. “Simply playing the game I love, which I didn’t get to play for a long time, was a breath of fresh air. There’s a lot of room for improvement. I’m still learning from my teammates… I’m just excited to go.”
Simmons, an Australian acquired by the Nets from Philadelphia last season made his Nets debut. He was signed while he battled a back issue for which he underwent surgery in May, and made his Nets debut. Kevin Durant, the star of the Brooklyn Nets, kept the hosts in the game by scoring 21 of his 32 points in the first half after shocking the league with a trade demand in June.
However, the Pelicans defeated the Nets 40-28 in the third quarter to seize the initiative. They never fell behind and had a 26-point lead at one point after turning 21 offensive rebounds into 36 points. Simmons only scored four points before fouling out, while Kyrie Irving made just six of his 19 shots for 15 points.
THE Doncic Show against the Suns
The Suns overcame a 22-point third-quarter deficit to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 107-105 in Phoenix on the second night of the season. The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the New York Knicks 115-112 in overtime after stopping their comeback attempt.
The Mavs, who defeated the Suns in the playoffs last year, looked to be in cruise control against them, with Luka Doncic scoring 35 points to lead the way. The Suns found a way to come back, cutting the score to one point with 1:25 remaining in the third quarter despite Chris Paul’s problems as their top point guard.
After Doncic leveled the score at 105-105 with 32.8 seconds left, the Suns seized the lead on Cameron Payne’s basket late in the fourth, and Damion Lee’s off-balance jumper in the closing seconds gave them the victory. Five Suns players, including reserve Lee, who scored all 11 of his points in the last round, were in double digits, with Devin Booker leading the way with 28 points.